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GORB/ODUC il \t. 





A. D. 1561. 





an 2A 
Ml t^ r \ 
1*7 3 


Buchdruckerei von G. Otto in Darmstadt. 









various editions, xix. 

lydgate's serpent of division, xx — xxh. 

allusions to politics, xxii. 

collations and peculiarities, xxiv. 

dates in Norton's life, xxvi. 

dates in sackvtlle's life, xxvh. 

verses by norton to turner's triacle, xxviu. 






At the beginning of Elizabeth's reign before the birth 
of Shakespeare (A. D. 1558) there was an English Drama 
and there was an English stage , but both were in a 
state of transition. The English people of old loved 
shows and plays, and the clergy here as elsewhere had 
skillfully turned this natural taste to account by encou- 
raging and permitting the representation of Biblical 
history. For ages the religion of the nation informed 
poetry and literature, and thus sought to make felt 
its human and picturesque elements , to the glory of 
God or of the Virgin; hence we have the Cursor 
Mundi and the collections of Mystery plays, without 
which there would not have been in later times a 
Milton's Paradise Lost or perhaps even a George Her- 
bert's Temple. 

The religious plays so popular down to the time 
of the Reformation, were dramas with actors, scenes, 
and a stage. We know less perhaps of the origin of 
their literary form than of the manner of their produc- 
tion, but they had some influence upon other forms of 
the dramatic genius, though (as is contended) what is 
called the regular English drama did not immediately 
grow out of them. The desire for show and personified 
ideals, animated by the new stirrings ofWycliffe, which 
had inspired the Vision of Piers Plowman, when touched 
by the increasing moral sense of the Reformation spirit, 


which could not brook the weight of mere traditional 
religion, broke out for a time in the morality plays of 
the 15. and 16. centuries. The old light, and the new, 
these were represented side by side in the religious 
and the morality plays ; but the latter did not betoken 
all the new light and learning. Men were going back 
to the antiquities of another race, were eagerly studying 
the human nature and the dramatic literature of Greece 
and Rome; and, warmly enthusiastic in the pursuit of 
ancient civilization , carried some of its form into their 
own. Young University students translated the come- 
dies and tragedies they found, 1 and out of their earnest 
admiration , shaped new dramas for the English stage 
on the old classic models. The learned school-master 
Udall did not deem it unworthy to provide amusement 
for his boys by writing comedies after Plautus and 
Terence for them to perform. Fitting in to the fond- 
ness for show and pageant, the source of dramatic 
representations was shifted from one class of society to 
another, and scholastic learning took up the production 
of plays at Court, the Universities, and the Inns 
of law. 

Udall died in December 1556, Ralph Royster Doyster 
(the only one of his comedies now known) was written 
before 1553. 2 About this time the tragedies of Seneca 
were being studied and translated, 3 these studies bore 
fruit in the tragedy of Gorboduc, the first original piece 
(so far as is known) in which English pens tried their 
flight in dramatic tragedy. The Queen's proclamation 
of 16. May, 1559, had forbidden plays which touched 
religion or politics to be performed, „beyng", it proceeded, 

1 Alexander Nevyle was but sixteen , he tells us himself 
-when he trp-slated Seneca's Oedipus, A. D. 1560. 

2 See i pier's reprint, Introduction, p. 6. 

3 Englit 1 ? translations of seven of Seneca's tragedies were 
published between 1559 & 1566. Collier's Hist. Dramatic Poetrv 
ed. 1879, II, 400. y ' 


„no meete matters to be wrytten or treated vpon, but 
by menne of aucthoritie, learning, and wisedome, nor 
to be bandied before any audience but of graue and 
discreete persons." It is clear that this proclamation, 
while seeking to stamp out the old and common 
plays in use among the people generally, — perhaps 
trompted by alarm at the success of Sir D. Lindsay's 
)olitical satire, „ Three Estates" in Scotland, — stimulated 
ne production of a higher drama by men of another 
ind a higher class of education. Plays had to be pro- 
vided for the entertainment of the best society in Lon- 
don, as well as of the Queen and her court; ^matters 
of religion or of the governance of the estate of the 
common weale" might be treated by those who were 
fit to do so, and thus it was that, in less than three 
years after the proclamation, two able and clever young 
men of good family and wits joined at writing a tra- 
gedy which closely touched the subject of „the gover- 
nance of __the_ common weale", to be performed by the 
gentlemen of the Inn at a grand Christmas entertain- 
ment given at the Inner Temple. The play must- 
have been a success, for Queen Elizabeth had it per- 
formed before her shortly afterwards (18. January) at 
Whitehall, in which too she may have wished to favour 
her young kinsman Sackville, one of the authors. See 
the words of the printer Daye, after, p. 5. This perform- 
ance was recorded by Henry Machyn, a citizen of 
London, as follows, „The xvn day of January was 
a play in the quen['s] hall at Yf estmynster by the gen- 
tyll men of the Tempull, and after a grett maske, for 
ther was a grett skaffold in the hall, with [as] grett 
tryhumpe as has bene sene" (Machyn's Diary, ed. by 
J. G. Nichols from MS. Cott. Yit. P. v. for the Camden 
Society, 1848, p. 275). 

The Inner Temple was (and is still) „pne of the 
four great Colleges of Law in London kno i as „Inns 
of Court". Thomas Norton (aged 29 i>1561) and 
Thomas Sackville (aged 25), a future lawyer and a future 


statesman, were both famous for their attainments in 
Latin and for their English verse; Norton had entered 
the Inner Temple in 1555, and was publishing his chief 
work, the translation of Calvin's Institutes, in this very- 
year 1561 ; Sackville, a kinsman to the Queen through 
her mother, and frequently about her from his youth, 
having distinguished himself at Oxford and Cambridge, 
had also some connection with the Inner Temple; he 
probably studied there though he may not have belon- 
ged to it (his name is not found on the books of the 
Inn) 1 , his father was governor of the Inner Temple in 
1561, and lived close by, at Sackville House in Salis- 
bury Court. Jasper Heywood, in some verses prefixed 
to his translation of Seneca's Thyestes in 1560, refers, 
to the repute of Sackville's sonnets and Norton's ditties; 
one each of these has come down to us, both of them 
are commendatory verses according to the fashion of 
the time; a sonnet of Saokville's 2 prefixed to a trans- 
lation by Sir Thomas Hoby, printed 1561 ; and a ditty 
by Norton prefixed to a tract against the Pelagian 
heresy called „A preservative or triacle", by a doctor 
of physic, William Turner, in 1551. 3 Sackville, already 
married, an active member of parliament and popular 
at court, and Norton the young lawyer and severe 
puritan, also in parliament, were thus men fitted by 
their training, associations, and aspirations to produce a 
new and scholarly drama for the entertainment „of 
grave, and discreete persons". Both were at the out- 
set of their career, and in the midst of literary excer- 

1 "W. D. Cooper, Boyster Doyster and Gorboduc, edited for 
the old Shakespeare Society, 1847, p. LX. 

2 Printed by W. D. Cooper, p. Lxn; and in Poetical Works 
of Thomas Sackville (C. Chappie), London, 1820, Biog. Sketch, 
p.vni. Cooper also prints two other ditties by Norton, p. xxxix 

3 As these verses are less known than others written by 
Norton, and are worthy of notice on account of their style, even 
then archaic and harking back to the old alliteration, I print them 
at the end of this Introduction. 


cise; following on the acting of Gorboduc in 1561, 
Norton translated twenty-eight of the psalms into Eng- 
lish metre, published in 1562, (of no great merit, 
part of Sternhold and Hopkins' version); while the 
s_hare which Sackville contributed to the „Mirrour for 
Magistrates" , on which his literary fame rests , was 
published in 1563, in the Second Part of that work. 1 
It has been doubted by Warton, Ashby, and others 
whether Norton wrote any part of Gorboduc, some edi- 
tors even ignoring him altogether as concerned in it. 2 
But there is no good ground for this. The printers of 
both the first and second editions declare the dual author- 
ship, and there is no reason to doubt their good faith, in- 
deed the one proves the other. In the first instance, like 
other early plays, the piece seems to have been written, 
not to be printed but to be shown; and several copies 
must have been in use among the ^gentlemen of the Inner 
Temple" who „shewed" it. b Tragedies (not all neces- 
sarily dramas) were then in vogue among men of letters, 
the Mirrour for Magistrates, the first Part of which came 
out in 1559, the second (to which Sackville contributed) 
in 1563, consisted of a series of ,, tragedies" in verse; 
Seneca's dramatic tragedies, as mentioned, above were 
being translated and printed; and some „young man", 
probably one of the gentlemen players, who had a copy 

1 For a fuller account of Thomas Norton and his writings, 
see the excellent Memoirs by W. Durrant Cooper, prefixed to 
the (Old) Shakespeare Society edition of Gorboduc, 1847; and 
in Messrs. Cooper's Athenae Cantabrigienses, (1858), I, 485, 569; 
also Wood's Athenae Oxon. Vol. I, p. 186. Mr. W. D. Cooper 
also gives a succinct Memoir of Sackville, as to whom see, further, 
Warton's Hist. Eng. Poetry, ed. 1871, Vol. IV, p. 162. In Cooper's 
Athen. Cant., Vol. II, p. 484, is a long account of Sackville, with 
authorities. The main facts in the life of each will be found 
tabulated on pp. XXIV, XXV, after. 

2 Joseph Spence in the edition of 1736; Chappie's print of 

3 See Title page of 1565, p. 1. 

of this new tragedy of Gorboduc 1 took it to the well- 
known printer William Griffith, who got it licenced and 
published it, September 22, 1565, 2 without the knowledge 
of the authors^ This „young man" must have known 
who were the writers, and moreover if he wished to 
make money by the transaction, as Day insinuates, ho 
would have suppressed the name of Norton in favour 
of a man so much higher in social rank as Mr. Sack- 
ville, kinsman to the Queen. The whole affair in that 
age of somewhat lax morality for printing was per- 
haps not so irregular as Day makes it out. — At this 
time, 1565, Norton was at Oxford, Sackville was travel- 
ling abroad. The latter was created Baron Buckhurst 
in 1567, and was on the road to political eminence; 
Norton entered into religious and political controversy, 
the printer of many of his pamphlets being John Day. 
Nothing was done about the unauthorized play till 
1570. No licence for Gorboduc 3 appears on the Station- 
er's Register from 1569 to 1571; but Sackville was 
a rising star and an old ally, and Norton set his prin- 
ter Day to work to bring their play again to light in 
1570. It is evident that he wished to make it agreable 
to Sackville, as the name of the latter is placed first 
when the names of the writers are mentioned; 4 but 
Day neither denies the authorship of Norton, nor con- 
tradicts the part assigned to him on Griffith's title-page. 
Twenty years later (1590), when Norton was dead, but 
Sackville was near the zenith of his prosperity, a third 
edition was issued by another printer, Allde, in which 
assuredly if it had been false Norton's name as author 

1 SeeDaye "to the Reader", 1570, p. 5. 

2 1565 — 66, "Receved of Wylliam greffeth for his lycense 
for pryritinge of « Trag|e]die of Gorboduc where nj aetes were 
wretten by Thomas Norton and the laste by Thomas Saokvyle 
etc., mjd." Arber's Reprint of Stationer's Registers, I, 296. 

3 We are told that Norton was appointed licencer of books 
by the Bishop of London; W. D. Cooper p. XLIV, "Wood, I, 186. 

* See p. 5. 


would have been suppressed. And if Sackville had 
cared so much about the alleged corruptions attaching 
to Griffith's edition as Day pretends, Allde would hardly 
have dared to follow Griffith's issue, even the very title, 1 
as he actually did instead of Day's. "We may therefore 
safely admit Norton's claim. And if in point of style 
his translations of the psalms do not advance that claim, 
on the other hand his verses commendatory of Turner 
are well worthy of it. (See Note, p. xxix.) 

Gorboduc marks a departure in English drama by 
the introduction of three novelties, 1. it is the first hi- 
storical play, founded on a story drawn from ancient 
British history (as then believed): 2 2. the treatment of 
the subject as well as the form of the play, are partly 
moulded on the classic model: '3. blank verse, previously 
only tried in the verse of Surrey and Grimoald, is em- 
ployed for the first time in drama. 3 

1. The story is taken from Book II, chap. XVI, 
of Geoffty of Monmouth's "British History", in the pre- 
ceding four chapters of which Shakespeare afterwards 
found the plot for his tragedy of Lear. Gorboduc, king 
of Britain, was sixth in succession from Cunedaghis, 
son of Regan and her husband the duke of Cornwall. 
The outline of the tale is seen in the "Argument" on 
p. 4, read together with the descriptions of the person- 
nages on p. 6. In the civil war which is the climax 
of the horrors told, Fergus, the descendant of Lear's 

1 See the title of edition 1590, p. xvu. 

2 Bishop Bale's King John, though partly historical, contains 
many allegorical personages. Miss Aikin points out that Gorboduc 
"was the first piece composed in English on the ancient tragic 
model, with a regular division into five acts, closed by lyric cho- 
ruses. It offered the first example of a story from British his- 
tory, or what passed for history, completely dramatized and 
represented with an attempt at theatrical illusion". Memoirs 
of the Court of Queen Elizabeth, 1818, Vol. I, p. 333. 

3 G-ascoigne's Jocasta was the second play in blank verse, 
it was acted at Gray's Inn in 1566. Ward's Hist. Dram. Lit., 
I, 114. 


other daughter Goneril and the duke of Albany (Scot- 
land), tries with some show of right to seize upon the 
crown (See pp. 83, 88), but Arostus, one of the nobles, 
treats him as a foreigner and urges the lords to choose 
a new king in Parliament (pp. 91, 92). Eubulus, the 
dead king's secretary, finishes with a long despairing 
speech, pointing out the failure of the royal line, the 
dreadful effects of civil war and the incompetence of^ 
Parliament. Connexion with the previous history 1 is* 
kept up in the reference to former divisions of the king-' 
dom (11. 230—235, 338—350, 962); the reduction of 
the kingdom to unity by Dunwallo Molmutius (p. 76; 
chap. 17 of Geoffry); as well as in the expectation 
of the vengeance of the Gods on the British line for 
the Trojan war (11. 750, 784—793). 

The choice of the story may have been suggested 
by a resemblance between the unnatural murders and 
civil strife and those of the tragic tales of Oedipus or 
Thyestes, as well as by its belonging to heroic times; 
Gorboduc being supposed to have flourished in the 
7 ,h century B. C. Part of the same tale is used by 
Warner, in his Albion, Book III, chap. 15 (A. D. 1589). 

2. As in the plays of Seneca, much of the action 
of the piece is told in the long speeches of some of the 
characters; the murders, the rebellions, the battles do 
not appear on the stage; 2 the most realistic scene being 
that in which Marcella describes the murder of Porrex 
by his mother. The language is high-sounding and digni- 
fied, as beseemed awful deeds. The chorus 3 of the 

1 The use of the name "Great Britaine" (1. 1508) is consis- 
tent with this. In a poem of 14. century we find mention of 
"Artus", „Qui rois fu de la grant Bretaingne". 

Li Regret Guillaume Comte de Haynau. 1. 3297. (Louvain, 1882). 

2 „Murders are announced by messengers, a Greek device 
which constantly re-appears in our early tragic drama" "Ward, 
I, 108. 

3 Prof. Ward points out that the execution of Gorboduc 
was based most nearly on Seneca's Thebais. Hist. Bng. Dram. 
Lit., Vol. I, p. 108. 


Greek plays is introduced in the form of "foure auncient 
and sage men of Brittaine" who, at the end of each of 
the first four Acts appear and moralise upon the sub- 
ject of the preceding Act. The chorus has nothing to 
do after the fifth Act. These utterances are in rymed 
stanzas, 1 and together with the dumb show, formed a 
kind of interlude between the blank verse Acts. Before 
every Act came in a „dumb show", i. e. acting without 
words, but accompanied with music, of which both 
the "order" or arrangement and the meaning are given. 
This, which however was not of classic origin , must 
have been an essential part of the performance, it fore- 
shadowed the spiritual meaning of what was coming 
next. In the show before the fourth act six kings and 
queens of antiquity who were guilty of unnatural mur- 
der were personified, together with the three furies. 
Such a scene as there described (see p. 56) may recall 
the scene of the silent incantations of the three witches 
at the beginning of Macbeth, in which indeed it is highly 
probable that Shakespeare utilized the old custom of 
prophetic dumb show, peculiarly valuable in tragedy 
upon the stage. 2 

The musical instruments used , it will be noted, 
were violins, cornets, flutes, hautboys and drums. The 
armed men in the dumb show before the fifth act also 
discharged their pieces on the stage. 

Gorboduc thus owes much to the classic drama, 
and consequently nearly every modern writer upon the 
subject insists that the modern English tragedy was a 
new invention, the child of Greek tragedy, but in no 
way the development of the older English Drama. 
Professor Ward points out that the "frequent change 

1 'limy are some what irregular, normally consisting of six 
lines, some have but four. 

3 The tragedy of Tancred arid Gismund put together by 
five -writers (probably of the Inner Temple, and performed in 
1568, has also dumb shows, as well as the Chorus. Collier's Hist. 
Dram. Poetry II, 399; Ward I, 117. 


of scene" caused by the variety of incidents in Gorbo- 
duc is "a licence borrowed not of course from ancient, 
but possibly from contemporary Spanish models". 1 We 
know that about this period Spanish literature- had 
considerable influence in England, but the authors of 
Gorboduc had precedents for the usage of varying 
scenes even upon a less convenient stage, nearer home. 
In several of the old religious plays a change of scene, 
though not marked by the writer, is required by the 
differing subject; no division is written, but the altered 
scenes must have been indicated in some way to the 
spectators. Thus in the Towneley collection, 2 the play, 
■'Secunda Pastorum'', which contains the comic episode 
of Mak and his wife, clearly require distinct scenes to 
be understood. So too in the York Plays, those which 
treat of Abraham and Isaac, and of the Adoration by 
the Kings, each shew change of scene. The latest edi- 
tor of the Digby Mysteries 3 has, accordingly, divided 
the plays into scenes, as the subject requires, see for 
example "the Killing of the Children of Israel" and 
"Mary Magdalene". 

In discussing what portions of this play descend 
from the older English plays it should be noted that 
the old arrangement of the stage or pageant, in which 
the lower story represented hell, is made use of in the 
dumb show before the fourth Act, in which the furies 
and the bad kings and queens "came from under the 
stage, as though out of hell" (p. 56). 4 

3. The translators of classic poetry in Italy and 
Spain had but twenty or thirty years before begun to 

i Hist. Eng. Dram. Lit. I, p. 108. 

2 Published by the Surtees Society, 1836. 

3 New Shakspere Society, ed. by F. J. Furnivall. 1882. 

* Reminding us of Sir P. Sidney's complaint as to the ima- 
ginary scenes in the plays of his time, — there "comes out a 
hidious monster with fire and smoke, and then the miserable be- 
holders are bounde to take it for a cave" Apologie for Poetrie. 
1595. Arber's Reprint, p. 64. 


discard ryme and to employ blank verse; the accom- 
plished Earl of Surrey (died 1547) introduced the mea- 
sure into English verse in his translation of Virgil's 
iEneid, N. Grimoald, lecturer on rhetoric at Christchurch, 
Oxford, about the same time (1547 — 1557) composed 
two heroic poems in English blank verse, (as Warton 
thinks for the benefit of his pupils). What the -wise 
Roger Ascham thought of the new attempts is seen in 
his "Scholemaster" 1 (published 1564), where he says 
that „ryming hath bene long misliked of many". "The 
noble lord Thomas Earle of Surrey, first of all English- 
men in translating the fourth [and second] booke of 
Virgill ; and Gonsalvo Periz, that excellent learned man 
and Secretarie to king Philip of Spaine, in translating 
the Ulisses of Homer out of Greke into Spanish, have 
both by good judgement avoyded the fault of ryming. 
. . . The spying of this fault now is not the curiositie 
of English eyes, but even the good judgement also of 
the best that write in these dayes in Italic" Whether 
Sackville had as a young lad heard Grimoald lecture 
we know not, 2 Norton could not have done so ; but to 
such students boldly striking out in new paths the 
dignified measure, free but adapted to serious subjects, 
commended itself to be tried for the first time in seri- 
ous English drama. It was a courageous attempt, and 
must have had considerable influence on the subsequent 
use of iambic blank verse , shortly afterwards brought 
to such splendid perfection in English hands. 3 

Occasional ryming couplets occur, as in lines 702 — 3 
and 947 — 8, perhaps slips of the pen, relics of the old 
habit of ryming; for they do not appear to mark em- 
phasis. Alliteration, which was often used in the high- 

1 Arber's edition, English Reprints, p. 147, 148. 

2 Grimoald was appoinfed lecturer in 1547, his pieces in 
blank verse were published in Tottel's miscellany in 1557. 

3 On the first use of blank verse in plays for the public 
theatres see Collier's Hist. Kng. Dram. Poetry, 1879, Vol. II, 
p. 487. See note on Gabriel Harvey, after, p. xxix. 


sounding speeches of dignified personages in the old 
plays, is here employed with good effect in several 
emphatic lines, e. g. 350, 365, 395-6, 480, 776, 919, 
1625—6. But for the most part the yerse moves along 
smoothly, with a stately, even monotonous pace. There 
is but little variety, the lines are nearly all masculine 
with strong endings , and the measure for the greater 
part preserves the same grave accentuation. A few 
feminine (double) endings occur in 11. 948, 1383, 1427, 
1707, 1744; and some few changes in accentuation, by 
the use of a trochaic foot at the beginning of the line, 
as in 11. 995, 1026, 1038, 1041, 1043, 1149, 1220, 1248, 
1254, 1270, 1272, 1277, 1303 and others. But though 
the yerse had not yet attained its finer polish, the 
mastery which the young writers had over it is shown 
by the large number of interrupted lines — or those 
in which the sense runs on from one to the other with- 
out a pause at the end , breaking off in the midst or 
at the end of the next. 

„But now o happie mail, whom spedie death 
Deprives of life, ne is enforced to see 
These hugie mischiefes and these miseries". 

11. 1789—1791. 

The proportion of these to the end-stopt lines, or 
those in which the sense pauses with the end of the 
line, is greater than the student who observes the 
starting point of Shakespeare and the progress he made 
in this particular, would have been led to expect at 
the initiation of dramatic blank verse. 1 

The play, thus partly the result of old traditions, 
partly the result of eager new culture and learning 
bursting old bonds, could not abide by all the old classic 
rules as a true child of the Greek drama should have 

1 The proportion of unslopt lines to end-stopt is in Love's 
Labour's Lost, I in 18.14, in The Winter's Tale, 1 in 2.12. 
Dowden's Shakespere Primer, p. 40. 


done. Sir Philip Sidney, while praising Gorbodnc, "as 
it is full of stately speeches, and well sounding phrases, 
clymiDg to the height of Seneca his stile , and as full 
of notable moralitie, which it doth most delightfully 
teach, and so obtayne the very end of Poesie" : goes 
on to lament that" it is very defectious in the circum- 
stances ; which greeveth me , because it might not 
remaine as an exact model of all Tragedies. For it is 
faulty both in place, and time, the two necessary com- 
panions of all corporall actions. For where the stage 
should alwaies represent but one place, and the utter- 
most time presupposed in it should be, both by Aris- 
totle's precept and common reason, but one day; there 
is both many dayes and many places inartificially ima- 
gined. . . . Doe they not knowe that a Tragedie is tied 
to the lawes of Poesie and not of Historie? . . . Againe, 
many tilings may be told which cannot be shewed , if 
they know the difference between reporting and repre- 
senting." 1 This last requirement, as has been shown, is 
fulfilled. The time covered is vague, but it must intend 
several months, perhaps years, from the first council 
held by the king to take advice as to the division of 
his kingdom till the final slaughter of the king and 
queen and the rebellion of the people against the no- 
bles- The places too are but vaguely indicated, but there 
appear to be at least five or six intended to be represented, 
as follow. 

. 1 The Palace, Videna's room. 
2 The king's Council chamber. 

1 Court of prince Ferrex (see 1. 850). 

2 Court of prince Porrex. 
The king's Council chamber. 

1 The Palace (11. 979—981). 

2 The King's Court (1. 1055). 
1 Council of lords after murder of King 

and Queen. 

1 Apologie for Poetrie, Arber's Keprint, pp. 63, 64. 


Act I 




„ III 





V 11 

„ v 



Act V sc. 2 Same place. 

The Greek unities therefore were not pretended 
to be kept. 

Sidney's praise of the style has been followed by 
several writers who admire the "pure and perspicuous 
language" of Gorboduc (Aikin [Biography], Warton, 
Pope). It gains conciseness from two peculiarities; the 
frequent use of words ending with the suffixes less 
and full, each of which stands for a phrase, as for 
example in lines 524, 784, 950, and 762, 1629—1631; 
"doubtless heir" = an heir to whose claim there is 
no doubt, "guideless realm" = realm without a guide, 
"endless storms" = storms without end. The second 
is the use of participles which retain much -verbal 
feeling, as in 11. 590, 684, 712, 774, often aided by the 
inversion of the sentences in a manner frequent among 
Elizabethan writers. 1 Examples of this transposition of 
adjectival phrases are in 11. 200, 433, 970. So in Jasper 

"Not ritches makes a king or high renowne, 
Not garnisht weed with purple Tyrian dye u 

(Translation of Seneca's Thyestes, London, 1581, p. 26). 

There is not much by which to distinguish Sack- 
ville's part from Norton's, perhaps Videna's passionate 
speech at the opening of Act IV, with its subtle allite- 
ration and repetition of phrases, is the most distinctive 
portion of the whole; several words, such as B hugie", 
B sithens" (instead of since) seem to be favoured by 
Sackville, but this may be accidental. 

The play has long been put side, or regarded only 
as a curiosity; yet there are several passages in it 
worthy of a better fate. The king, weak as Lear, 
whose history he repeats, spends himself in plaints 
(11. 784, 1244), and shows himself vengeful and passio- 
nate, when the consequences of his own folly come to 

1 See Abbot's Shakespearian Grammar, § 419 a. 


pass (1. 873, etc.); though he hears the defence of 
Porrex for murdering his brother (Act IV, sc. 2), he 
bemoans his fate and is quite unable to see his own 
share in bringing it on , petulantly replying to the ad- 
monitions of his counsellor Arostus. The speech of 
Videna just mentioned, and the wailing accounts by Mar- 
cella of the death of the unfortunate Porrex (Act IV, 
sc. 2) contain much natural force and pathos; while 
the lines describing a fair abounding realm (498 — 505) 
and the acts of a raging mob (1413 — 1425) display 
observation. The dominant idea of the whole seems 
to be that the laws of kind , i. e. human nature, must 
be obeyed, and that due control or restraint is necessary 
for all, whether youths, subjects, or rulers; in the midst 
of the darkest days comes the repeated conviction that 

"Right will always live, and rise at lengtb, 
But wrong will never take deepe root to last". 

(11. 1681, 1795). 

Various Editions. The play/ has been reprin- 
ted several times, more or less correctly since the first 
two editions. 

1565. Printed by William Griffith. (Unauthorized). 
Contains eight lines (1389 — 1396) which were suppress- 
ed in the next edition. Hereinafter referred to as A; 
the full title is printed on p. 1. 

1570. Printed by John Daye. (Authorized). ^See 
the title on p. 3. This bears no date, but the state- 
ment "about nine years past, vz. 1561" on the title and 
in the address "to the reader", p. 5, fixes it. Herein- 
after referred to as B. Day's address "to the reader" 
is omitted in most subsequent editions. 

1590. Printed by Edward Allde. This for the 
most part follows the edition of 1565, the principal 
differences lying in altered spelling. The title runs, 
"The Tragedie of Gorboduc, whereof three Actes were 
written by Thomas Norton, and the two last by Thomas 
Sackuyle. Set forth as the same was shewed before 


the Queenes most excellent majesty, in her highnes 
Court of "Whitehall, by the Gentlemen of the Inner 

1736. No reprint seems known for nearly 150 
years. Mr. "Warton's father possessed a copy of the 
1570 edition, which he gave to the poet Pope, from 
which R. Dodsley reprinted it, edited, with a prefatory 
letter, by Joseph Spence in 1736. x 

1744. R. Dodsley reprinted it in the first edition 
of his "Old Plays", Vol. II. It is also in the 2°" ed., 
1780, and H rd ed., 1825-27, but not in 4 ,h ed., 1874. 

1773. Thomas Hawkins in his "Origin of the 
English Drama", from the print of 1570. 

1810. Messrs. Ballantyne of Edinburgh, in "Ancient 
British Drama", Vol I, from print of 1570. 

1820. C. Chappie, in "Poetical Works of Thomas 
Sackville, Earl of Dorset", from 1570 edition, with its 
"inaccuracies and defects" supplied from the edition of 
1590. As the "evident words of the author have been 
restored", it is not very trustworthy. 

1847. The Shakespeare Society, edited by W. Dur- 
rant Cooper from the 1565 edition, with a facsimile of 
the title-page. 

1859. Mr. Sackville-West, in J. R. Smith's "Library 
of Old Authors", Works of Thomas Sackville, from 1570 
edition: very incorrectly. 

All these editions were printed in London except 
that of 1810. 

The edition of 1590 was printed as an annex to 
a tract called "The Serpent of Division. Wherein is 
conteined the true history or Mappe of Rome's ouer- 
throwe". This prose account of the wars of Julius 
Cesar and of his death had been previously printed 2 
in 1559; in the colophon which remains in a fragment 

» See Warton, IV, p. 256; DodsIey'B Old Plays, 1744, 
Vol. II, p. 2. 

2 By Owen Rogers. Ritson, Bihliog. Poetica, 1802. p. 70. 


of a still earlier edition, (undated, printed "by me Peter 
Treuerys") it is entitled "The Damage and Destruccyon 
in Realmes". The tract is anonymous, but is attributed 
to John Lydgate; 1 in the "catalogue of translations 
and poetical devises" by that poet printed as the end 
of Speght's edition of Chaucer, which extends to 113 
pieces, the fifth piece from the end is "The Serpent of 
Division". Finally, proving the true connexion of the 
title, the tract, and the writer, I have fortunately found 
a copy in a hand of 15. century among the Yelverton 
manuscripts, belonging to Lord Calthorpe, 2 which shows 
that the "Serpent of Division" was written in December 
1400 "by me Danne John Lidgate". It underwent alte- 
rations in the different editions , especially in the con- 
clusion. As the piece whether in manuscript or print 
is rare, it may be interesting to give the author's closing 
words from the manuscript. 

"Thus be recorde of my wise prudent maistir 
[Chaucer, whom he has just quoted.] taforseide the 
froward and the contrarious lady dame fortvne the 
blinde and perilous goddesse, with here gory and 
vnware violence, spareth nother Emperoure ne king to 
plunge him downe subdenly from the higheste prikke 
of here vnstable wheele : Alas ! lete euery man lifte vp 
his herte and prudently aduerte the mutabilitie and 
subden chavnce of the fals worlde. And lete the wise 
gouvernaunce of every Region and londe make a myr- 
roure in theire mynde of this manly Julius, and consi- 
dre in theire hertis themportable 3 harmes of division. 
Theforseide division so to schewe I have remembred 

1 Mr. J. H[aslewood] in Brydges' Censura Literaria, 1809, 
Vol. 9, p. 369. Messrs. Cooper in Athen. Cantab, attribute it to 
Norton, which is evidently an error. 

2 Yelverton Mas. Vol. 35, fos. 146 v°. — 156. I beg here 
to acknowledge the kindness of Lord Calthorpe in giving me 
access to this volume. 

3 Treuerys has "irrecuperable harmes". 


this forsaide litill translation, the moneth of decembre 
the firste yere of oure souvereigne lorde that now ys, 
king Henry the vj ". 

A Lenvoye 1 ) j y 
A - lidgate ) 

Here endeth the cronycule of Julius Cesar Empe- 
roure of Rome tyme, specifying cause of the ruyne and 
destruccion of the same, and translated by me, Danne 
John lidgate, Monke of Bury seint Edmund, the yer 
of our lord god M 1 mj°. 

The matter is not without interest here, for the 
„Mirrour for Magistrates", in which Sackville had a 
considerable hand, was designed as a continuation in 
idea of Lydgate's "Pall of Princes", and this tract, in 
which ''the wyse gouernours of every land" were ex- 
horted to "make a myrrour in theyr mynde of this 
manly man Julius" and the "harmes of dyuysyon", was 
probably in the hands of the writers of Gorboduc, the 
political allusions of which are evident. This play, 
"enforcing the advantages of peace and settled govern- 
ment, the evils of popular risings and a disputed suc- 
cession", 2 expressed pretty forcibly what the best pbli~ 
ticians at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign were aiming 
at, the establishing the queen's undivided supremacy 
and the suppression of rebellion, and above all to pro- 
vide for a sure succession. To avoid disputed claims 
the people already desired the queen should marry; 
Sackville (ActV) describing the horrors caused by the 

1 The Yelverton Ms. does not give Lydgate's Envoye, but 
/Peter Treuerys printed three 8 -line stanzas at the end of his 

(the earliest) edition, -which are evidently the Envoye; they are 
given in Censura Literaria. The edition of 1590 omitted the 
verses and otherwise modernized the whole. 

2 Tho. Arnold's Manual of English Literature, 1877, p. 193. 
On the political import of passages in Gorboduc, see Notes and 
Queries, 2. Series, Vol. X, p. 261. 


rebellion of a misguided people, and its stern repres- 
sion, tries to enforce that desire by showing among the 
evils, when 

"No issue now remains, the heir unknown, 
The people are in arms and mutinies, 
The nobles they are busied how to cease 
These great rebellious tumults and uproars", — 

how room is open to the crafty foreigner to seize on 
the crown. See also 11. 1763 — 1769. The monologue 
of Fergus (11. 1479 — 1517) and the speech of Arostus 
(especially 11. 1632 — 1637, and the last ten lines) point 
to a felt danger from abroad , and Fergus 1 may not 
unlikely have alluded to Philip of Spain, on one hand, 
or Mary Stuart (who landed in Scotland, August, 1561) 
on the other. Arostus brings forth a strong plea for 
the right of Parliament to elect the sovereign (1. 1669 
etc) ; but the dead king's Secretary Eubulus fore-sees 
plots and counter - plots , and points the moral by 

"Parliament should have been holden, 

And oerteine heirs appointed to the crowne 

* # 


Whill yet "the prince did live". 

(11. 1781-1787). 

In confirmation of the serious tendency of these 
allusions we may recall the epistle prefixed by A. TSe- 
vyle to his translation of Seneca's Oedipus in 1560, 
(published 1563), which he puts forth as a warning 
against mischiefs of the time and the horrors of civil 

Sackville himself shows civil discord again in his 
Induction (Mirrour for Magistrates, 1563, Stanza 58), — 

1 Fergus is a character introduced by SackvilJe, not in 
Geoffry's story. 


"depainted there we found 
Deadly debate, all full of snaky heare 

* * 


Out brething nought but discord every where . 

It may therefore have been no fortuitous reason 
that induced Allde in 1590, when men's minds were 
still uneasy about the succession, to revive and bring 
together under one title - page two works between 
which there were links of authorship and of subject. 

Present re-print. In this reprint the edition 
of 1570 has been reproduced, scrupulously preserving 
the old spelling and punctuation. 1 It has been collated 
with the editions of 1565 (A) and of 1590 (C), the 
full collations 2 being placed at the bottom of eacb page. 
These collations however for the larger part concern 
no more than alterations of spelling; but all instances 
of difference of text may be found by the ] which sepa- 
rates the word of text B from the collations. Thus in 
line 1114 the word To of text B is replaced by Should 
in A and C. Five passages, 3 which all occur in the 
first three acts, those attributed to Norton, are marked 
by inverted commas, in the edition of 1570 only, but 
not in the others; possibly these lines were written by 
Sackville and thus distinguished by Norton from his 
own. This seems a reasonable explanation; these marks 
seem to have been indifferently used at that period to 
denote emphasis, or the quotation of some special maxim 
or proverbial phrase. A friend suggests that the lines 

1 The punctuation is, however, often faulty. In a few 
cases where it obscures the sense I have altered it, but have 
placed the original stop, with its word, in a foot-note. All these 
will be seen at a glance in the notes ending B. The ( ) in 
lines 1180, 1181 are not in the original. 

2 No account has been taken of punctuation or of capital 
initials in these collations. 

» Lines 608—613, 744—747, 794, 922—926. Also lines 588— 
591, where unfortunately our printer has omitted them. 


may be translations from Greek or Latin authors ; e. g. 
with 1. 794 cf. Andromache, 11. 100—102. 

There are very few stage-directions in the original, 
in those inserted I have followed Mr. Sackville-"West's 
edition, except in two instances, those after 11. 1066 and 
1255. I must beg the reader also to add [Exeunt] 
after line 1478*, it is evident that the lords all go out 
here to take their measures against the rebels, leaving 
Fergus to develope his secret desigus; and coming in 
after his exit to tell Eubulus of their success. 

With regard to the difference between the three 
first editions; Day (1570) omitted eight lines found in 
the others (p. 79), it is hard to guess why, except by 
inadvertence, for exactly the same sentiments occur in 
lines 1364—1379, which were untouched, and they are 
sentiments which must have been agreable to person- 
ages in power. The 1565 edition is quite as well 
printed as that of 1570, and bears no marks of haste, 
the corruptions of which Day complains (see p. 5, 1. 6) 
being remarkably few. I recollect but four, 1. • 358, 
unpaised for upraised; 1. 479, Tantalus for Tantales; 
1. 1291, preparation for proportion ; and 1. 1548, terrour 
for errour. As 1565 and 1590 eds. are nearly the 
same, the ] of the collations really show the differences 
between 1565 and 1570 editions. The third edition, 
1590, is interesting as showing occasional changes of 
forms (e. g. 1. 1008, eigre to eager); and systematic 
doubled vowels in the spelling, the A is thee in C, to 
A is too C; fede, gredie, of B are feede, greedy, in C; 
doth, do of A are dooth, doo in C, and so on, while 
the final e is often dropped, and the old d (represen- 
tative of d) in A becomes th (e. g. furder 1. 383). 
Several fresh corruptions occur, as in 11. 666, 1025, 

My thanks are due to the Earl of Ellesmere for 
kindly lending his valuable copy of the edition of 1565 
for collation, and to Mr. W. G. Stone, Dr. George 


Kingsley, and my cousin Mr. C. H. Herford for other 
kind assistance. 

Principal dates in the lives of Norton 
and Sackville. 

Thomas Norton, of Sharpenhoe, Bedfordshire, 
afterwards Mr. Solicitor Norton. 
1532 Born. 

Oct. 1550 Translated Peter Martyr's letter to the 

Protector Somerset". 
1551 Verses to Turner's "Preservative or triacle". 
1555 Entered as student of Inner Temple. 
1557 — 8 Returned to Parliament. 
1561 Translated and published Calvin's "Institutions of 

the Christian Religion". 

1561 Gorboduc acted, of which three acts written by 

1562 The Psalter in English metre published, to which 
twenty-eight contributed by Norton. Appointed 
Counsel to the Stationer's Company. Again in 

1565 Entered at Pembroke Hall, Oxford. 
1567 — 1578 Published several polemical pamphlets and 

1570 Translation of Dean Nowell's Catechism. Appoint- 
ed Remembrancer to City of London. Licenser 
of books. Zeal and cruel action against the 

1582 Papers on the licence and privileges of printing 
(W. D. Cooper, pp. liv — lvi). Eminent in legal 

1583 — 4 Imprisonment (Aiken. Cant. I, 487). 

1584 Death. 


Thomas Sackville, afterwards Lord Buckhurst 
and Earl of Dorset. 1 
1536 Born, at Buckhurst, Sussex. 

"Went to Oxford, then to Cambridge. 
1554—55 Marriage. 
1557 — 8 Eeturned to Parliament. 

1560 "Sonnets sweetly saust" about this date (Jasper 
Heywood's Thyestes). 

1561 Gorboduc acted. 

1563 Induction and Duke of Buckingham in the "Mir- 

rour for Magistrates", Part II. 
1563—1566 Tour in France and Italy. ' 

1567 Created Baron Buckhurst. Henceforth devoted 

to state affairs. Twice ambassador abroad. Three 

times sat on great State Trials. 
1591 Chancellor of the University of Oxford. 
1599 Lord High Treasurer. 
1603 Created Earl of Dorset. 
1608 Died, at the Council table at Whitehall. 

He published no more after 1563, but such writers 
as Bacon and Spenser, Lambard and T. Campion, in- 
voked his name as a patron of poetry and learning. 
Sir Fr. Bacon sent him a copy of his "Advancement 
of Learning", as "one that was excellently bred in all 
learning, which I have ever noted to shine in all your 
speeches and behaviours" (Cooper's Athen. Cant., 11,487). 

1 Hia grand-mother was aunt to Anne Bulleyn, mother of 
Queen Elizabeth. 


"Thomas Norton to the reder. 1 

Wee may wyte, if wee wyll, by holy writ 
The lore of the lorde, that ledeth to lyfe : 
Wee may see, if wee seche, and fynde in it 
The fall of falshed, the stenching of strife: 
The tryall of trewth: the guide of our gate: 
Calbemesse 2 of hart: what to loue, or to hate. 

"Yea and so may wee see, that it alone 
Should be sought, to finde that wee ought to seche, 
No mynde of man to bee buylded on: 
No counsell, no custome can bee our leche, 
To purge the poyson: gyue salue for the sore: 
Or hathe helth for the harmed hart in store. 

"They more the mischief: they prolong the payne: 
Ad more force to the fier, for the want 
Of water of the word: and worke in vayne, 
Let us hye to hym whoes skill is not scant 
Whoes will dothe not [want] to better our bale: 
To lesse our losse, yea to quit vs of all. 

"A pestilent plage, a poysonous ill 
Hath sowen sores in certaigne now of late: 
A wood sprited hart : with a wayward wyll : 
A stubborne stomache, to nourishe debate : 
Blered, yea blynded eyes; a brasen brest: 
A leden brayne: I recken not the rest. 

"Agaynst these euell ajres thou mayst haue here 
(Take it and taste it, yea let none be left) 
A tryed triacle, to kepe the clere. 
Lechecraft not only restoreth the reft, 
But also preserueth vnharmed helth. 
This physike is free and esy God welth. 

1 Among the commendatory verses prefixed to "A preser- 
vatiue, or triacle, agaynst the poyson of Pela?ius, lately renued, 
and atyrred up agayn by the furious seete of the Annabaptistes, 
deuysed by Wyllyam Turner, Doctor of Physick", 1551. (See 
p. vi). Norton also wrote some French and Latin verses. 

2 This word seems to be a mis-print for calmnesse. 


"And euen as lerned leches do oftentymes. 
(Triall techeth dayly tofore our eyes) 
Put in poyson, to make for medecines 
So make their bale thy boote their losse lyke wyse 
Thy game, to warne the how thou ought to wyrche 
To glory of God, and help of the Churche". 

L. Toulmin Smith. 

Highgate, London, N. 


Since the fore-going pages were written Mr. E. J. L. Scott 
has kindly pointed out to me the following note, written about 1578, 
in the Letter-Book of Gabriel Harvey (Sloane MS. 93, fo. 52) 
in which Gorboduc is referred to. "In the nexte seate to thes 
Hexameters and Iambicks I sett those that stande uppon ther 
meter, not in meter sutch as my Lorde of Surrey is sayde first 
to haue putt forthe in prynte, and my lorde Buckhurste and M. 
Norton in the Tragedye of Gorbodue , M. Gascoigne's Stele 
Glasse, etc." The passage is disconnected with what comes be- 
fore and after it. Harvey does not appear to set blank verse 
in the first rank, but he evidently took for granted that Norton 
was joint author of the play with Sackville. 


p. 3, Title of 1570; read Ferrex for Feereoc. 

p. 35; note to 1. 574, read on for ou. 

p. 36; insert " before lines 588, 589, 590, 591. 

p. 48; note, for 820 read 821. 

p. 60; 11. 1044—1047, add note; Reed compares the 

idea in these lines with the JEneid , IV, 365 — 367 

(Dodsley's "Old Plays", ed- 1780). 
p. 66; 11. 1175, 1176, add note; Chaucer affords a 

parallel to these lines, „The smyler with the knyf 

under his clolce". Knightes Tale, 1. 1141. 
p. 74 ; 1. 1327, read Ioue for Joue. 
p. 79; note to 1. 1399, read through for though, 
p. 82; at end of 1. 1478 insert [Exeunt]. 
p. 96; 1. 1784 read obedience for obedienhos. 

[Title-page to the First edition, 1565.] 



Where of three Actes were wrytten by 

Thomas Nortone, and the two laste by 
Thomas Sackuyle. 

Sett forthe as the same was shewed before the 

QVENES most excellent Maiestie, in her highnes 

Court of Whitehall, the .XViij. day of January, 

Anno Domini .1561. By the Gentlemen 

of Thynner Temple in London. 

[Device of a Griffin] 


in Flete strete, at the Signe of the 

Faucon by William Griffith: And are 

to be sold at his Shop in Saincte 

Dunstones Churchyarde in 

the West of London. 

Anno. 1565. Septemb. 22. 

[Title-page to the second edition, 1570] 

The Tragidie of Feerex v 
and Porrex, 

fet forth without addition or alte- 
ration but altogether as the fame was fhewed 
on stage before the Queeiies Maiestie, 
about nine yeares past, vz. the 
xviij. day of Iarmarie 1561. 
by the gentlemen of the 
Inner Temple. 

Seen and allowed &c. 

Imprinted at London by 

Iohn Daye, dwelling ouer 



GORBODTJC king of Brittaine, diuided his 
realme in his life time to his sonnes, Ferrex and 
Porrex. The sonnes fell to discention. The yonger 
killed the elder. The mother that more dearely" 

5 loued the elder, for reuenge killed the yonger. 
The people moued with the crueltie of the fact, 
rose in rebellion and slew both father and mother.'! 
The nobilitie assembled and most terribly destroyed 
the rebels. And afterwardes for want of issue 

10 of the prince, whereby the succession of the crowne 
became Yncertaine, they fell to ciuill warre, in 
which both they and many of their issues were 
slaine, and the land for a long time almost deso4< 
late and miserably wasted. 

At the foot of this page in A are two ornamental letters 
~VT Q, and between them a device of a griffin rampant bearing 
a flower in his left hind paw. 

1. 10 prince, ] prince B. 

Title Thargument A Tragedie AC. 

1. 1 Brytaine C deuided AC. 2 lyfe A. 3 to dyuision 
and discention A deuiaion and dissention C. 4 kylled A, 
5 thelder A kylled A. 6 facte A slewe A. 8 destroied C. 
9 afterwards C wherby A. 10 vncertayne, They A. 11 whiche A. 
12 slayne Lande longe tyme almoste A. 13 lande C mise- 
rablye A. 


"Where this Tragedie was for furniture of part of the grand 
Christmasse in the Inner Temple first written about nine yeares 
agoe by the right honourable Thomas now Lorde Buckherst, and 
by T. Norton, and after shewed before her Maiestie, and neuer 1 
intended by the authors therof to be published: yet one W. G. 
getting a oopie therof at some yongmans hand that lacked a 
litle money and much discretion, in the last great plage, an. 
1565. about v. yeares past, while the said Lord was out of Eng- 
land, and T. Norton farre out of London , and neither of them 5 
both made priuie, put it forth excedingly corrupted: euen as if 
by meanes of a broker for hire, he should haue entised into his 
house a faire maide and done her villanie, and after all to 
bescratched her face, tome her apparell, berayed and disfigured 
her, and then thrust her out of dores dishonested. In such plight 10 
after long wandring she came at length home to the sight of 
her frendes who scant knew her but by a few tokens and markes 
remayning. They, the authors I nieane, though they were very 
much displeased that she so ranne abroad without leaue, whereby 
she caught her shame, as many wantons do, yet seing the case 15 
as it is remedilesse, haue for common honestie and shame- 
fastnesse new apparelled, trimmed, and attired her in such forme 
as she was before. In which better forme since she hath come to 
me, I haue harbored her for her frendes sake and her owne, 
and I do not dout her parentes the authors will not now be dis- 20 
content that she goe abroad among you good readers, so it be 
in honest companie. For she is by my encouragement and 
others somewhat lesse ashamed of the dislionestie done to her 
because it was by fraude and force. If she be welcome among 
you and gently enterteined, in fauor of the house from whense 26 
she is descended, and of her owne nature courteously disposed 
to offend np man, her frendes will thanke you for it. If not, 
but that she shall be still reproched with her former missehap, 
or quarelled at by enuious persons, she poore gentlewomafn] 
wil surely play Lucreces part, and of her self die for shame, 30 
and I shall wishe that she had taried still at home with me, 
where she was welcome: for she did neuer put me to more 
charge, but this one poore blacke gowne lined with white that 
I haue now geuen her to goe abroad among you withall. 

11. 12, 13 to-bescratched , scratched to pieces, very much 
scratched. Cf. "let them all to-pinch the unclean knight". Merry 
Wives, Act IV, so. 4, 1. 58; and K. John, Act V, so. 2, 1. 37—39. 


Gorboduc, King of Great Brittaine. 

Videna, Queene and wife to king Gorhoduc. 

Ferrex, elder sonne to king Gorboduc. 

Porrex, yonger sonne to king Gorboduc. 
5 Clotyn, Duke of Comewall. 

Fergus, Duke of Albanye. 

Mandud, Duke of Loegris. 

Gwenard, Duke of Cumberland. 

Eubulus, Secretaire to the king. 
10 Arostus, a counsellor to the king. 

Dordan, a counsellor assigned by the king to his eldest 
sonne, Ferrex. 

Philander, a counsellor assigned by the king to his yongest 
sonne Porrex. 
15 Both being of the olde kinges counsell before. 

Sermon, a parasite remaining with Ferrex. 

Tyndar, a parasite remaining with Porrex. 

Nuntius, a messenger of the elder brothers death. 

Nuntius, a mesenger of Duke Fergus rising in armes. 
20 Marcella, a. lady of the Queenes priuie-chamber. 

Chorus, foure auncient and sage men of Brittaine. 

1. 1 king is kynge throughout this page in A Brittayne A 
Brytaine C. 5 Cloyton B. 6 Albany C. 1 Loegris ] Leagre 
AC. 8 Cumperlande A. 9 king] king Gorboduc AC. 10 to 
the king J of king Gorboduc»J.C. 10, 11, 13 counsellour A. 
13 yongest ] yonger AC. 15 beynge A old kings C. 16, 17 
Parasyte remaynyng A. 18 thelder deth A. 19 rysynge A. 20 
Ladye A priuy chamber C. 21 Brittayne A Brytaine C. 




First the Musi eke of Violenze began to play, 
during which came in vpon the stage sixe 
wilde men, clothed in leaues. Of whom 
the first bare in his necke a fagot of small 
stickes, which they all both seuerallij and a 
together assayed with all their strengthes 
to breake , but it could not be broken by 
them. At the length one of them plucked 
out one of the stickes and brake it : And the 
rest plucking out all the other stickes one 10 
after an other, did easely breake them, the 
same being seuered: tvhich being conioyned, 
-they had before attempted in vaine. After 
they had this done, they departed the stage, 
and the Musicke ceased. Hereby was sig- 15 
nified, that a state knit in vnitie doth con- , 
tinue strong against all force. But being 
divided, is easely destroyed. As befell vpon 
Duke Gorboduc diuiding his land to his 
two sonnes tvhich he before held in Monar- 20 
chie. And vpon the discention of the 
brethren to whom it was diuided. 

Title, shewe A dumbe shewe C flrste Acte A thereof C. 

1. 1 Firste A musike C playe A. 2 durynge whiche A. 
vppon A six C 3 whome C. 4 on C sinal A. 5 whiche 
thei A seuerallie A seuerallye C 6 togither assaied A strengths 
C. 8 plucked ] pulled C. 10 pluckinge out.e A. 11 another C 
easilie A easilie C omit them AC. 12 beyng A. 13 vayne A. 15 
Musike C. 16 Tnytie A dooth C. 17 stronger force, but C 
beynge A. 18 deuyded A deuided C easily C destroied A. 
19 deuiding AC Lande AC. 20 helde C. 21 dissention C. 
22 Brethrene A whome A deuided AC. 





The silent night, that bringes the. quiet pawse, 
Prom painefull trauailes of the wearie day, 
Prolonges my carefull thoughtes, and makes me 

The slowe Aurore, that so for loue or shame 
5 Doth long delay to shewe her blushing face, 
And now the day renewes my griefull plaint. 


My gracious lady, and my mother deare, 
Pardon my griefe for your so grieued minde, 
To aske what cause tarmenteth so your hart. 

; VlDENA. 

1 10 So great a wrong, and so vniust despite, 

Without all cause, against all course of kinde! 


Such causelesse wrong and so vniust despite, 
May haue redresse; or at the least, reuenge. 


Neither, my sonne; such is the froward will, 
is The person such, such my missehappe and thine. 

1. 11 kind, that is, nature. 

1. 1 pause C. 2 Daie A weary Daye: C. 2 thoughts C. 
4 Aurora C. 5 Dooth C longe delaye A shew C blusshing A. 
6 nowe Daie A plainte AC. 7 Lady and Mother AC deere C. 
8 greefe C greeued C. 9 harte A. 10 wronge A. 11 cause 
against AC. 12 suehe oauseles A. 13 Maye A least reuenge AC. 
14 suche frowarde A. 15 suohe A mishap AC thyne A. 


Mine know I none, but grief for your distresse. 


Yes: mine for thine my sonne. A father? no: 
In kinde a father, not in kindliness. 

My Father? why? I know nothing at all, 
Wherein I have misdone vnto his grace. 20 


Therefore, the more vnkinde to thee and mee. 
For, knowing well (my sonne) the tender loue 
[a iiij] That I haue euer borne, and beare to thee, ' 
He greued thereat, is not content aloae, 
To spoile thee of my sight, my chiefest ioye, 25 .. . 
But thee, of thy birthright and heritage, \ 

Causelesse, vnkindly, and in wrongful? wise, 
Against all lawe and right, he will bereaue: 
Halfe of his kingdome he will geue away. 

To whom ? 


Euen to Porrex his yonger sonne, 
Whose growing pride I do so sore suspect, 

1. 17 sonne. ] sonne : B. 

18 This line exemplifies- the Elizabethan meaning of kind, 
i. e. nature, as well as the secondary meaning for which it stands 
in modern use. Cf. Shakespeare's play on the word „A little 
more than kin, and less than kind." Hamlet I sc. 2, 1. 65. 

25 sight,] sight B. 

26 heritage, ] heritage B. 

1. 16 myne A griefe A greefe C. 17 myne thyne A. 18 
kynde A but not in kindlynes A kyndelynes C. 19 whie^l knowe 
nothynge A. 20 wherin AC misdoone C. 21 Therfore AC 
me C. 22 knowynge A tendre A. ,23 haue borne and C. 
24 therat A greeu'd therat C. 25 spoyle AC cheefest C. 27 Cau- 
seles A vnkindely C. 28 law C. 29 kyngdome A giue C awaye 
A. 30 whome AC younger A. 31 growinge A doo C suspected. 


That being raised to equall rule with thee, 
Mee thinkes I see his envious hart to swell, 
Pilled with disdaine and with ambicious hope. 
35 The end the Goddes do know, whose altars I 
Full oft haue made in vaine, of cattell slaine 
To send the sacred smoke to heauens throne, 
For thee my sonne, if thinges do so snccede, 
As now my ielous mind misdemeth sore. 

I Ferrex. 

» Madam, leaue care and carefull plaint for me, 
i Just hath my father bene to euery wight: 

His first vniustice he will not extend 
To me I trust, that geue no cause therof: 
My brothers pride shall hurt him selfe, not me. 


* 5 So graunt the Goddes: But yet thy father so 
Hath firmely fixed his ynmoued minde, 
That plaintes and prayers can no whit auaile, 
For those haue I assaied, but euen this day, 
He will endeuour to procure assent 

»o Of all his counsell to his fonde deuise. 

Their ancestors from race to race haue borne 

1. 34 hope. ] hope, B. 

38 Jelous mind, i. e. suspicious. Cf. „nor dare I question 
with my jealous thought where you may be". Shaks. Sonnet 
LVII, 9. 

40 Carefull, full of care or sorrow. This is the rarer 
meaning of the word in Shakespeare. 

50 Fonde, foolish, silly. 

1. 32 beynge raysed A. 33 harte A. 34 Fyllde A Filde C. 
hope] pride AC. 35 ende A Gods doo knowe C Aulters AC. 
36 slayne A. 37 sende A smoake C. 38 omit do AC suceeede 
C. 39 Ielious AC misdemeth C. 40 Madame A plainte C. 41 
ben A. 42 firste AC extende A. 43 truste A give C. 44 mee A. 
46 mynde A. 47 plaintes praiers A. 48 assaied daie A daye C. 
51 aunoestours AC. 


True fayth to my forefathers and their seede: 
I trust they eke will heare the like to me. 


[vo] There resteth all. But if they faile there of, 
And if the end bring forth an ill successe, &5 

On them and theirs the mischiefe shall befall, 
And so I pray the Goddes requite it them, 
And so they will, for so is wont to be. 
When lordes, and trusted rulers ynder kinges, 
To please the present fancie of the prince, eo 

With wroDg transpose the course of gouernance, 
Murders, mischiefe, or ciuill sword at length, 
Or mutuall treason, or a iust reuenge, 
When right succeding line returnes againe, 
By Ioue's iust iudgement and deserued wrath, 65 
Bringes them to cruell and reprochfull death, 
And rootes their names and kindredes from the 


Mother, content you, you shall see the end. 


The end? thy end I feare, lone end me first! 

1. 53 Elce, also. 

55 Suoeesse, ] successe : B. Used in the dative of conse- 
quence, cf. 1. 88. 

1. 53 truste thei lyke A. 54 all, but AC fayle A. 55 ende 
bringe A ill ] euill AC. 56 miscbeefe C. 57 praie A Gods 
requit C. 58 woont C bee A 59 kynges A. 60 fancy C. 
61 gouernaunce AC. 62 mischeefe C ciuyll sworde A. 64 succe- 
dinge A. 65 wrathe A. 66 cruell ] ciuill AC reprochefull AC. 
67 kinreds C. 68 ende A. 69 ende thie ende A feare AC. 




ra My lords, whose graue aduise and faithful aide 
Haue loDg vpheld inyTionour and my realme, 
And brought me to this age from tender yeres, 
Guidyng so great estate with great renowme: 
Nowe mote importeth mee, than erst, to vse 

76 Your fayth and wisedome, whereby yet I reigne: 
That when by death my life and rule shall cease, 
The kingdome yet may with vnbroken course 
Haue certayne prince, by whose vndoubted right 
Your wealth and peace may stand in quiet stay; 

so And eke that they whome nature hath preparde, 
In time to take my place in princely seate, 

[b j] While in their fathers tyme their pliant youth 
Yeldes to the frame of skilfull gouernance, 
Maye so be taught and trayned in noble artes, 

£5 As what their fathers which haue reigned before 
Haue with great fame deriued downe to them, 
"With honour they may leaue vnto their seede: 
And not be thought, for their vnworthy life, 

1. 70 aide ] aide, B. 

74 Erst, formerly, once. 

77 course] course, B. 

78 right ] right, B. 

79 stay ; ] stay, B. 

86 Derived, drawn or brought down: „what friend of mine 
that had to him derived your anger", Hen. VIII, II, sc. 4, 1. 32. 
88 thought, ] thought B. 

1. 70 Lordes faitbfull A. 71 vphelde C. 72 to ] from AC. 
from ] and C yeeres. 73 Guidynge A renowne C. 74 me C 
than] the AC. lb faith A wherby AC. 76 liefe A. 77 maye 
A. 78 certaine C. 79 in ] at C staie A. 80 thei A. 81 Prin- 
celie A 83 Yeeldes C gonernannce AC. 84 may C trained C. 
85 whiche A raignde C. 87 maye A. 88 thought ] taught AC 
.dvnworthie vnwoorthy C. 


And for their lawless swaruynge out of kinde, 
Worthy to lose what.lawe and kind them gaue; so. 
But that they may preserue the common peace, - : 
The cause that first began and still mainteines 
The lyneall course of kinges inheritance, 
For me, for myne, for you, and for the state, 
Whereof both I and you haue charge and care. 95 
Thus do I meane to vse your wonted fayth 
To me and myne, and to your natiue lande. 
My lordes be playne without all wrie respect 
Or poysonous craft to speake in pleasyng wise, 
Lest as the blame of yll succedyng thinges u-o 
Shall light on you, so light the harmes also. 


Tour good acceptance so (most noble king) 
Of suche our faithfulnesse as heretofore 
We haue employed in dueties to your grace, 
And to this realm whose worthy head you are, 105 
Well proues that neyther you mistrust at all, 
.Nor we shall neede in boasting wise to shewe 
Our trueth to you, nor yet our wakefull care 
For you, for yours, and for our natiue lande. 
Wherefore (0 kyng) I speake as one for all, no 
Sithe all as one do beare you egall faith: 

1. 95 care. ] care, B. 

98 Wrie respect, -without crookedly seeking to favour me. 
(Wrie, adj. from v. writhe.) 

Ill Sithe, since. Both sithe and siihens are frequently used 
in Gorboduc. See lines 157, 647, 1081 etc. 

1. 89 Laweles A lawlesse swaruing C kinde A. 90 Worthie 
A Woorthy to loose C. 93 Lineall C inheritaunce A enheri- 
taunce C. 95 Wherof AC. 96 doo C woonted C. 97 natyue 
A land C. 98 wrye C. 99 poysonous ] poysons C crafte A. 
100 Least C ill C suceedynge A. 102 acceptaunce AC kinge A. 
1C3 our J your AC faithfulnes AC heertofore C. 104 emploied C. 
105 realme A worthie A woorthy C. 106 mistruate A. 107 nede 
A in ] no AC shew C. 110 Wherfore AC kynge A king C 
as one for ] for one as AC. Ill Sith C doo C. 


Doubt not to vse our counsells and our aides, 
Whose honours, goods, and lyuesare whole auowed, 
To serue, to ayde, and to defende your grace. 


us My lordes, I thanke you all. This is the case. 

[v«] y e know, the Gods, who haue the soueraigne care 
For kings,- for kingdomes, and for common weales, 
Gaue me two sonnes in my more lusty age, 
Who nowe in my decayeing yeres, are growen 

120 Well towardes ryper state of minde and strength, 
To take in hande some greater princely charge. 
As yet they lyue and spende hopefull daies 
With me and with their mother here in courte. 
Their age nowe asketh other place and trade, 

125 And myne also doth aske an other chaunge: 
Theirs to more trauaile, myne to greater ease. 
Whan fatall death shall ende my mortall life, 
My purpose is to leaue vnto them twaine 
The realme diuided into two sondry partes: 

130 The one Ferrex myne elder sonne shall haue, 
The other shall the yonger, Porrex, rule. 
That both my purpose may more firmely stande, 
And eke that they may better rule their charge, 
I meane forthwith to place them in the same: 

1. 118 age, ] age B. 

124 Trade, occupation, intercourse. „Have you any further 
trade with us?" Samlet III sc. 2, ]. 346. 

131 Yonger Porrex rule B. 

132 Both is here co-relative conj. with and in 1. 133, not 
a pronoun, as at first appears. Cf. 11. 135, 136. 

1. 112 our] their AC counselles A counsailes C our ] their 
AC. 113 honors C. 114 aide C. 117 kingdoms C commen 
A. 18 lustie A. 119 decayeing ] deceyuyng A deceiuing C 
yeeres C. 120 Towards C. 121 hand C. 122 Hue C spende 
their hopefull A. 123 heere C. 125 mine C dooth C change C. 
126 mine C. 127 When C end C lyfe A. 128 vnto ] betweene 
C. 129 deuided AC sondrie A sundry C. 130 mine C. 131 
yonger ] other AC. 132 firmely ] framelie A. 134 footh with C. 


That in my life they may both learne to rule, 135 

And I may ioy to see their ruling well. 

This is in summe, what I woulde haue ye wey: 

First whether ye allowe my whole deuise, 

And thinke it good for me, for them, for you, 

And for our countrey, mother of vs all: 140 

And if ye like it, and allowe it well, 

Then for their guydinge and their gouernaunce, 

Shew forth such meanes of circumstance, 

As ye thinke meete to be both knowne and kept. 

Loe, this is all; now tell me your aduise. i« 


And this is much, and asketh great aduise, 
But for my part, my soueraigne lord and kyng, 
This do I thinke. Tour maiestie doth know, 
How vnder you, in iustice and in peace, 
Great wealth and honour long we haue enioy'd, ibo 
[b y] So as we can not seeme with gredie mindes 
To wisshe for change of Prince or gouernaunce 
But if we lyke your purpose and deuise, 
Our lyking must be deemed to proceede 
Of rightfull reason, and of heedefull care, 155 

Not for ourselues, but for the common state, 
Sithe our owne state doth neede no better change. 
I thinke in all as erst your Grace hath saide. 
Pirste when you shall vnlode your aged mynde 
Of heuye care and troubles manifolde, «o 

And laye the same vpon my Lordes your sonnes, 

1. 149 you, ] you B 

1. 135 maye A. 136 ioye A rulynge A. 137 somme A. 
138 allow C deuice C. 139 think C. 140 Country C. 141 
lyke A. 142 Than AC guiding C gouernance C. 143 Shewe 
forthe suche A circurastaunce A.. 146 muche A 147 parte A 
king C. 148 doe C dooth C knowe A. 149 How;' A 151 
minds A. 152 chaunge AC governance C. 153 we] ye AC 
like C. 154 lykynge A procede A. 156 the ] our A commen 
A 157 Sith C nede A dooth need C chaunge AC. 158 earst C. 
159 minde C. 160 heauie C manyfolde A. 161 lay C Lords C. 


Whose growing yeres may beare the burden long 
(And long I pray the Goddes to graunt it so), 
And in your life while you shall so beholde 

les Their rule, their vertues, and their noble deedes, 
Suche as their kinde behighteth to vs all, 
Great be the profiles that shall growe therof, 
Your age in quiet shall the longer last. 
Your lasting age shalbe their longer stay, 

no For cares of kynges, that rule as you have ruled, 
For publique wealth and not for priuate ioye, 
Do wast mannes lyfe, and hasten crooked age, 
With furrowed face and with enfeebled lymmes, 
^ To draw on creepyng death a swifter pace. 

«o They two yet yong, shall beare the parted reigne 
With greater ease than one, nowe olde, alone 
Can welde the whole, for whom muche harder is 
With lessened strength the double weight to beare. 
Your eye, your counsell, and the graue regarde 

iso Of Father, yea, of such a fathers name, 
Nowe at beginning of their sondred reigne, 
When is the hazarde of their whole successe, 
Shall bridle so their force of youthfull heates; 
And so restreine the rage of insolence, 

185 Whiche most assailes the yonge and noble minds, 

[v«] And so shall guide and traine in tempred stay 

Their yet greene bending wittes with reuerent awe, 

1 163 (And- so)] And— so B. 

166 Behight, to promise, intend, AS. behatan. 

176 ease, alone, B. 

1. 162 yeeres C bere A. 163 longe praye A. 164 lyfe A 
behold C. 166 kind C. 167 profites C there of C. 169 la- 
stynge A staie A.- 170 kings C rulde AC. 171 publike 
welth C ioy C. 172 waste mans life C. 173 lims C. 174 
creepynge A creeping C. 175 yonge A yoong C parted ] partie 
AC. 176 now C. 177 much C. 178 doubled C. 179 re- 
gard C. 180 Father ] fathers AC suche A. 181 now C sun- 
dred C. 183 is the ] it is A. 185 yong C. 186 staio A. 187 
wits C. 


As now inured with vertues at the first, 

Custome (0 king) shall bring delightfulnesse, 

By vse of vertue, vice shall growe in hate. 190 

But if you so dispose it, that the daye 

Which endes your life, shall first begin their reigne, 

Great is the perill what will be the ende, 

When such beginning of such liberties 

Voide of suche stayes as in your life do lye, i9B 

Shall leaue them free to randon of their will, 

An open praie to traiterous flatterie, 

The greatest pestilence of noble youthe. 

Whiche perill shalbe past, if in your life, 

Their tempred youthe with aged fathers awe, 200 

Be brought in vre of skilfull stayednesse. 

And in your life their liues disposed so, 

Shall length your noble life in ioyfulnesse. 

Thus thinke I that your grace hath wisely thought, 

And that your tender care of common weale, 205 

). 189 delightfulnesse, B. 

190 hate, B. 

191 daye, B. 

195 Stay, a prop or support; it also bears the sense of 
restraint, here and in 1). 186, 376: "tempred stay" = regulated 
firmness. Spenser has "stayed steps", Shep. Cal., June, St. 5., 
and Drayton "his stay'd faith". (Wedgwood). 

199 — 201 ure, use, practice; „mis en ure", put in use or 
effect, a terra of law-French. 

201 Stayednesse, gravity, firmness. „There will be no danger 
if during your life, their youth, tempered by awe of you, be 
enured to reasonable firmness. " The idea is repeated in 11. 186, 
376. Compare the transposed construction of 11. 186, 200, 433. 

202 so, B. 

1. 188 As 1 And AC iworde C. 189 delightfulnes AC. 
190 grow C. 191 day C. 192 ends C shal A their] the C 
reign A. 193 will ] shall C. 194 suche A. 195 stayes ] states 
AC liefe A lye A doo lie C. 196 free to ] to free AC random C 
197 pray C. 198 youth C. 199 Which C shall be C. 200 
youth C. 201 staidnes A stayednes C. 203 liefe A ioyfulnes 
AC. 204 wiselie A. 

Enffl. Spr.ioh- und Literaturtl^nUm. I, 2 


Hath bred this thought, so to diuide your lande, 
And plant your sonnes to beare the present rule, 
While you yet Hue to see their rutin ge well, 
That you may longer lyue by ioye therein. 
210 What furder meanes behouefull are and meete 
At greater leisure may your grace deuise, 
When all haue said, and when we be agreed 
If this be best to part the realme in twaine, 
And place your sonnes in present gouernement. 
215 Whereof, as I haue plainely said my mynde, 
So woulde I here the rest of all my Lordes. 

In part I thinke as hath bene said before, 
In parte agayne my minde is otherwise. 
As for diuiding of this realme in twaine, 
! 220 And lotting out the same in egall partes, 
! [b iij] To either of my lordes your graces sonnes, 
That thinke I best for this your realmes behofe, 
For profite and aduauncement of your sonnes, 
Aad for your comforte and your honour eke. 
225 But so to place them, while your life do last, 
° . To yelde to them your royall gouernaunce, 
-fat ft To be aboue them onely in the name 
^g, Of father, not in kingly state also, 
|4|' 1 thinke not good for you, for them, nor vs. 
230 This kingdome since the bloudie ciuill fielde 
■? Where Morgan slaine did yeld his conquered parte 

1. 210 Furder, the A S 8 was often retained by the early 
printers as d. It frequently so occurs in edition A. 

1. 206 deuide A. 208 rulynge A ruling C. 209 lyue 
ioy C. 210 furder] further C behoovefull. 211 greater ] great 
A maye A. 213 parte A. 214 gouernment C. 215 saide A 
minde C. 216 would C heare C. 217 parte A haue ben A 
saide AC. 218 part C againe AC mind C. 219 deuiding AC. 
222 behoofe C. 223 aduancement C. 224 comfort C. 225 
do ] doth C. 226 yeeld gouernance C. 230 bloodie A bloody 
C field C. 231 yeeld part C. 

SC. II.] 



Unto his cosins sworde in Camberland, 
Couteineth all that whilome did suffice 
Three noble sonnes of your forefather Brute. 
So your two sonnes it maye suffice also. 
The moe, the stronger, if they gree in one. 
The smaller compasse that the reaime doth holde, 
The easier is the swey thereof to welde, 
The nearer justice to the wronged poore, 
The smaller charge, and yet ynoughe for one. 
And whan the region is diuided so, 
That brethren be the lordes of either parte, 
Sucii strength doth nature knit betwene them both, 
In sondrie bodies by conioyned loue, 1 
That not as two, but one of doubled force, 
Eche is to other as a sure defence. 
The noblenesse and glory of the one 
Doth sharpe the courage of the others myDde, 
With vertuous enuie to contende for praise. 
And suche an egalnesse hath nature made 
Betwene the brethren of one fathers seede, 
As an unkindly wrong it seemes to bee. 
To throwe the brother subiect vnder feete 



232 Morgan and Cunedagius, sous to Regan and Gonerilla, 
ousted and imprisoned Cordeilla Queen of Britain , and divided 
the kingdom between themselves. Then Morgan, listening to 
insinuations that by right he ought to have the whole kingdom, 
attacked his cousin and was slain with his men. Geoffry of 
Monmouth, bk. II c. 15. 

1. 234 The three sons of Brute were Locrin, Albanach, and 
Kamber; they „veigned in peace together", lb. bk. II u. 1. 

250 made, B. 

1. 232 cosyns A Coosens sword C Cumberland C. 233 
suffise C. 235 may also saffise AC. 236 moe] mo C thei A. 
237 dooth C. 238 sway C therof A. 239 neerer. 240 inough 
C. 241 when C deuided AC. 242 Brethrene A lords C part 
C. 243 dooth C. 244 sundry C. 246 Ech. 247 noblenes AC 
glorie AC. 248 Dooth mind C. 
C eagalnes C. 251 Betweene C. 
253 throw C brother ] other AC. 

249 contend C. 250 such 
252 vnkindlie wronge A. 


Of him, whose peere he is by course of kinde, 

2oo And nature that did make this ,egalnesse, 
[Vo] Ofte so repineth at so great a wrong, 
That ofte she rayseth vp a grudginge griefe 
In yonger brethren at the elders state: 
Wherby both townes and kingdomes haue ben 

2co And famous stockes of royall blond destroied: 
The brother, that shoulde be the brothers aide, 
And haue a wakefull care for his defence, 
Gapes for his death, and blames the lyngering yeres 
That draw not forth his ende with faster course: 

265 And oft impacient of so longe delayes, 

With hatefull slaughter he preuentes the fates, 
And heapes a iust rewarde for brothers bloode, 
With endlesse vengeaunce on his stocke for aye. 
Suche mischiefes here are wisely mette withall, 

270 If egall state maye nourishe egall loue, 

Where none hath cause to grudge at others good. 
But nowe the head to stoupe beneth them bothe, 
Ne kind, ne reason, ne good ordre beares. 
(Xnd oft it hath ben seene, where natures course 

275 Hath ben peruerted in disordered wise. 

When fathers cease to know that they should rule, 
The children cease to know they should obey. 
And often ouerkindly tendernesse 

j. ib(i Preuentes, anticipates. 

278 i. e. tenderness beyond nature. 

1. 255 egalnes AC. 256 oft C wronge A. 257 raiseth C 
grudgynge A greefe C. 259 towns C kingdoms AC been C. 
260 stocks C blood AC distroied A. 261 should A 263 linge- 
ring C. 264 draw] brings AC foorth C. 265 long C. 266 
preventes] presenfes A presents C. 267 heapes ] keepes AC 
blood C. 268 endles A vengeance C 269 Such mischeefes 
heere C met C. 270 may nourish C. 272 now C beneath C 
both C. 273 order C. 274 been C where natures course ] that 
where Nature AC. Tib bene C preuerted AC disordred AC. 
276 shuld A. 277 The] And AC knowa A. 278 ouerkindly] 
our vnkindly AC tendreues A tendernes C. 


Is mother of vnkindly stubbornnesse 
I speake not this in enuie or reproche, 280 

As if I grudged the glorie of your sonnes, 
Whose honour I besech the Goddes encrease: 
Nor yet as if I thought there did remaine 
So filthie cankers in their noble brestes, 
Whom I esteeme (which is their greatest praise) 285 
Undoubted children of so good a kyng. 
Onelie I meane to shewe by certeine rules, 
Whiche kinde hath graft within the mind of man, 
That nature hath her ordre and her course, 
Which (being broken) doth corrupt the state 290 
[Biiij] Of myndes and thinges, euen in the best of all. 
My lordes your sonnes may learne to rule of you. 
Your owne example in your noble courte 
Is fittest guyder of their youthfull yeares. 
If you desire to see some present ioye 2j5 

By sight of their well rulynge in your lyfe, 
See them obey, so shall you see them rule: 
Who so obeyeth not with humblenesse 
Will rule with outrage and with insolence. 
Longe maye they rule I do beseche the Goddes, sao 
But longe may they learne, ere they begyn to rule. 
If kinde and fates woulde suffre, I would wisshe 
Them aged princes, and immortall kinges. 
Wherfore, most noble kynge, I well assent, 
Betwene your sonnes that you diuide your realme, 305 

]. 283 remaine, B. 

297 rule, B. 

301 Wherefore kynge B. 

1. 279 stubbornes AC. 280 reprocb C. 28:2 beseche A 
beseech C Gods to in-crease C to encrease A. 285 Whome A 
esteme A -whiche A. 286 kynge A- 287 by ] my shew AC. 
288 mind C. 289 order C. 290 whiche A dooth C. 291 min- 
des C. 294 guider C yeeres C. 295 see ] seeke AC. 296 ruling 
C life C. 298 humblcnes AC. 300 Long may C doo beseech 
C Gods C. 301 long C begin C. 302 fates ] saies C suffer C 
wish C. 304 well ] will C. 305 between C deuide AC. 


And as in kinde, so match them in degree. 
But while the Goddes prolong your royall life, 
Prolong your reigne : for therto lyue you here, 
And therfore haue the Goddes so long forborne 

310 To ioyne you to them selues, that still you might 
Be prince and father of our common weale. 
They when they see your children ripe to rule, 
Will make them roume, and will remoue you hence, 
That yours in right ensuynge of your life, 

3i5 Maye rightly honour your immortall name. 


Your wonted true regarde of faithfull hartes 
Makes me (0 kinge) the bolder to presume, 
To speake what I conceiue within my brest, 
Although the same do not agree at all 
320 With that which other here my lordes haue said, 
Nov whicii yourselfe haue seemed best to lyke. 
Pardon I craue, and that my wordes be demde 
; To flowe from hartie zeale vnto your grace, 

And to the s&fetie of your common weale. 
j325 To parte your realme vnto my lordes your sonnes, 
i I thinke not good for you, ne yet for them, 
But worste of all for this our natiue lande. 
Within one land, one single rule is best: 
I Diuided reignes do make diuided hartes, 

1. 313 Will make them roume, the old dative construction; 
„the Gods will make place for them". 
316 hartes, B. 
327 lande, B. 
329 hartes. B. 

1. 306 mutche A. 307 Gods C prolongue A Royal A. 308 
Prolongue A liue C heere C. 309 Gods C longe A 312 se A. 
313 roome C wil A, 314 ensuing C. 315 may C rightlie A im- 
mortall | mortall AC. 316 woonted C. 317 king C. 318 speak 
C. 319 althoughe A doo C 320 -whieho A heere C Lords A. 
321 whiche A. 322 denmde AC 323 barty C. 325 lords AC. 
326 think C. 327 woorst C land C. 328 Within] For with AC. 
329 Deuided AC reignes ] Regions C doo C deuided AC. 


But peace preserues the countrey and the prince. 330 
Suche is in man the gredy minde to reigne, 
So great is, his desire to climbe alofte, 
In worldly stage the stateliest partes to beare, .— -" 
That faith and iustice, and all kindly loue, 
Do yelde vnto desire of soueraignitie, 336 

Where egall state doth raise an egall hope 
To winne the thing that either wold attaine. 
Your grace remembreth how in passed yeres 
The mightie Brute, first prince of all this lande, 
Possessed the same and ruled it well in one, 340 
He thinking that the compasse did suffice, 
For his three sonnes three kingdoms eke to make, 
Cut it in three, as you would now in twaine. 
But how much Brittish bloud hath since bene spilt, 
To ioyne againo the sondred vnitie! 345 

What princes slaine before their timely houre! 
What wast of townes and people in the lande! 
What treasons heaped on murders and on spoiles! 
Whose iust reuenge even yet is scarcely ceased, 
Ruthefull remembraunce is yet rawe in minde. 350 
The Gods forbyd the like to chaunce againe: 
And you (0 king) geue not the cause therof. 
My Lord F err ex your elder sonne , perhappes 
Whome kinde and custome geues a rightfull 

1. 339 See note before to 1. 234. 

350 This. 

355 Succeede. Succeede in this sense now takes direct object 
only of persons, „you succeed the king"; for abstract or common 
nouns we now use a preposition, v. g. „succeed to your reign". 

I 330 Countrye C. 331 such C eredie A greedy C raigne 
C. 334 kindely C. 335 Doo yelde C. 337 would atteine C. 
338 yeeres C. 339 mightv C. 342 king-domes C. 343 nowe 
A. 344 Brittish ] Brutish AC blood C since 1 sithence AC ben A 
been C. 345 sondred C. 346 houre ] honour AC. 347 wast 
land C. 348 spoyles C. ?>A?> scarsely C. 350 rawe ] had AC. 
351 forbid C. 352 giue therof C, 354 giues C. 


355 To be your heire and to succeede your reigne, 
Shall thinke that he doth suffre greater wrong 
Than he perchaunce will beare, if power serue. 
Porrex the younger so vpraised in state, 
Perhappes in courage will be raysed also. 

360 If flatterie then, whiche fayles not to assaile 
[c j] The tendre mindes of yet vnskilfull youth, 
In one shall kindle and encrease disdaine, 
And enuie in the others harte enflame, 
This fire shall waste their loue, their Hues, their land, 

365 And ruthefull ruine shall destroy them both. 
I wishe not this (0 kyng) so to befall, 
But feare the thing, that I do most abhorre. 
Geue no beginning to so dreadfull ende. 
Kepe them in order and obedience: 

370 And let them both by now obeying you, 

Learne such behauiour as beseemes their state; 
The elder, myldenesse in his gouernaunce, 
The yonger, a yelding contentednesse. 
And kepe them neare vnto your presence still, 

375 That they restreyned by the awe of you, 
/ May Hue in compasse of well tempred staye 

And passe the perilles of their youthfull yeares. 
Your aged life drawes on to febler tyme, 
"Wherin you shall lesse able be to beare 

380 The trauailes that in youth you haue susteyned, 

1. 361 Vnskilfull, wanting in knowledge. 
376 See note to 1. 195, 201. 
385 youth, B. 

1. 355 succede A. 356 think dooth C suffer C wronge A. 
357 then C. 358 yonger C vpraised ] vnpaised AC. 359 raised 
C. 360 flattery C lailes C. 361 tender C you the A. 363 
And ] In C hart C. 365 rutheful A shal A. 366 wish C wisshe 
A king C. 367 doo C. 368 Giue C ende C. 369 lceope C. 
370 nowe obeyinge A. 371 suche A. 372 tnyldencs A mil- 
denes C. 373 younger A yeldyug A yeelding C contentednes AC. 
374 keepe C neere C. 375 restreined AC. 376 staie AC. 377 
perrilles yeercs C. 378 feebler time C. 380 sustoinod AC- 


Both in your personos and your realmes defence. 
If planting now your sonnes in furder partes, 
You sonde them furder from your present reach, 
Lesse shall you know how they them selues 

Traiterons corrupters of their plyant youth 38 5 i 

Shall have vnspied a muche more free accesse, 
And if ambition and inflamed disdaine 
Shall arme the one, the other, or them both, 
To ciuill warre, or to vsurping pride, 
Late shall you rue, that you ne recked before. 390 
Good is I graunt of all to hope the best.. 
.But not to Hue still dreadlesse of the worst. 
So truste the one, that the other be foresene. 
Arme not vnskilfulnesse with princely power. 
But you that long haue wisely ruled the reignes aos 
[\'«] Of royaltie within your noble realme, 
So holde them, while the Gods for our auayles 
Shall stretch the thred of your prolonged daies. 
To soone he clambe into the flaming carre, 
Whose want of skill did set the earth on fire, ^o 
Time and example of your noble grace, 
Shall teach your sonnes both to obey and rule, 
When time hath taught them, time shal make 

them place, 

1. 390 Reck, to liocd, to care for „And little recks to find 
the way to heaven." As you Like It, II sc. 4 1. 81. 

395—397 There is here » play on the word reins, in the 
sense of guiding them (rego) or holding in (retineo). 

403 See note on 1. 313 dative construction, „Tinie shall 
make place for them". 

1. 381 persons C. 382 nowe A further C. 383 send C 
reaehe A. 384 shal A demeane ] demannd AC. 385 pliant AC 
youthe A. 380 much C. 387 if ] of AC. 388 bothe A. 389 
cyuill AC usurpinge .1. 392 dreadles AC woorst C. 393 trust 
C foreseene C. 394 vnsfcilfulnes AC. 395 longe A. 397 
auailes C. 398 strotclie A threde A threed C. 399 too C 
clamme AC flamyng A Carte AC. 400 xkyll A. 402 toaclie A. 
403 Whan A Sh'all AC place ] pace AC 


The place that now is full: and so I pray 
405 Long it remaine, to comfort of vs all. 


I take your faithful harts in thankful part. 
! But sithe I see no cause to draw my minde, 
i To feare the nature of my louing sonnes, 
\ Or to misdeme that enuie or disdaine, 
!4io Can there worke hate, where nature planteth loue: 
In one selfe purpose do I still abide. 
My loue extend eth egally to both, 
My lande suffiseth for them both also. 
Humber shall parte the marches of theyr realmes: 
415 The Sotherne part the elder shall possesse : 
The notherne shall Porrex, the yonger rule: 
In quiet I will passe mine aged dayes, 
( Free from the trauaile and the painefull cares, 

That hasten age vpon the worthiest kinges. 
420 But lest the fraude, that ye do seeme to feare, 
Of flattering tongues, corrupt their tender youth, 
And wrythe them to the wayes of youthful! lust, 
To climyng pride, or to reuenging hate, 
Or to neglecting of their carefull charge, 
425 Lewdely to lyue in wanton recklessnesse 
Or to oppressing of the righrfull cause, 
Or not to wreke the wronges done to the poore, 

1. 411 Selfe, same. „I am mauo of that self metal as my 
sister." Lear I sc. 1 1. 72. 
414 Mai\-hen, borders. 
422 Writhe, to twist, turn. 

1. 404 nowe A praie A. 405 Longe A eomforto A. 406 
faithful] harfe? thankful] parte AC. 407 sith C drawe A. 408 
louyng A. 409 misdeerne C. 410 woork C. 411 doo C. 412 
bothe A. 414 their A. 413 parte AC. 416 northerne AC. 
417 dales A- 419 woortiiiest C. 420 least C doo C. 421 flat- 
teryng A tung-es C. 422 wrieth AC waies AC. 4^3 climing C 
reuengyng A 425 Lewdelye line reehlesnesse C recklenesse \ A 
426 oppressing-e A 427 doono C. 


To treade downe truth, or fauour false deceite: 

I meane to ioyne to eythev of my sonnes 

Some one of those, whose long approued faith 430 

And wisdome tryed, may well assure my harte: [Cij] 

That mynyng fraude shall finde no way to crepe 

Into their fensed eares with graue aduise. 

This is the ende, and so I pray you all 

To beare my sonnes the loue and loyaltie *ss 

That I haue founde within your faithfullbrestes. 


You, nor your sonnes, our soueraign lord shal 

Our faith and seruice while our Hues do last. 



When settled stay doth holde the royall throne 
In stedfast place , by knowen and doubtles 4-to 

And chiefely when discent on one alone 
Makes single and vnparted reigne to light: 

1. 433 The play contains several examples of this peculiar 
construction; the noun is placed after the participle of the ad- 
jective-phrase, instead of before it, we now should read, „Into 
their ears, fenced with grave advice"- See 1. 200; and Abbott's 
Shak. Gram. § 419 a. 

439 There is no separation of stanzas in the Chorus in B, 
and the lines are placed evenly, as in the blank verse. The 
speeches of persons are printed with space between. 

In A the speeches are printed as in B with space between, 
and the stanzas of the Chorus are separate, as printed above. 

In C there is no separation of speeches , or of stanzas in 
the chorus, but the first line of each stanza is set back. 

I. 428 tread C trueth AC. 429 either C. 430 longe A. 
b'6\ art C. 432 myning C creepe C. 434 praye A- 436 
found C faithful breasts A brests C. 437 sourraigne A souo- 
reigne C shall AC. 438 doo C. 439 setled C staie A dooth 
hold C. 440 knowr.e C. 441 cheefely C whan AC. 442 dis- 
cent AC. 


Eche chaunge of course vnioynts the whole estate) 
And yeldes it thrall to ruyne by debate. 

4*5 The strength that knit by faste accorde in one, 
Against all forrein power of mightie foes, 
Could of it selfe defende it selfe alone, 

Disioined once, the former force doth lose. 
The stickes, that sondred brake so soone in twaine, 
450 In faggot bounde attempted were in vaine. 

Oft tender minde that leades the parciall eye 
Of erring parentes in their childrens loue, 
Destroyes the wrongly loued childe therby. 
This doth the proude sonne of Apollo proue, 
455 Who rashely set in chariot of his sire, 

Inflamed the parched earth with heauens fire. 

And this great king, that doth deuide his land, 
And chaunge the course of his discending crowne 
And yeldes the reigne into his childrens hande, 
i 460 From blisfull state of ioye and great renowne 
A myrrour shall become to Princes all, 
To learne to shunne the cause of suche a fall. 


]. 4-12 make AC. 443 Ech C vnioints C. 444 Yeeldes C. 
ruine C. 445 fast ] laate A last accord C. 447 defend C. 448 
disioyned AC dooth C. 449 sticks C sundrcd C. 450 fagot 
bound C. 451 mind C perciall A. 452 orringe A parents. 
453 Destroies AC wrongfull AC thereby C. 454 dooth C 

proud C. 455 rashly C. 456 Inflnmdo C perched A. 457 
dooth lande C. 468 ehaunged A chaungde C discending C. 459 
yeelds C raigne C hand C. 460 ioy C. 461 mirrour B C. 502 
such C. 




First the Mitsicke of Cornettes began to playe, 
during which came in upon the stage a King 5 
accompanied icith a nombre of his nobilitie and 
gentlemen. And after he had placed him self 
in a chair e of estate •prepared for him, there 
came and kneled before him a graue and aged 
gentelman, and offred up a cuppe unto him of 10 
wgne in a glasse, which the king refused. After 
him commes a braue and lustie gong gentleman 
and presentes the King with a cup of golde filed 
with pnyson, irhich the King accepted, and drin- 
king the same, immediatly fell downe dead vpon is 
the stage, and so was carried thence array by 
his Lordes and gentelmen, and then the Mnsicke 
ceased. Hereby teas signified, that as glasse by 
nature holdeth no poyson, but is clere and may 
easely be seen through, ne boiveth by any arte: 20 
So a faythfull counsellour holdeth no treason, 
but is playne and open, ne yeldeth to any vndis- 

I. 2 dumbe C shewe A. 4 muaike C cornets C play C. 
5 whiche kinge A. 6 number C nobylytie A. 7 himselfe C 
selfe A. 9 kneeled C. 10 Gentilman A Gentleman C offered 
C hym A. 11 wine C whiehe A kynge A. 12 comes C yoong 
C Gentelmann A. 13 presentes C of omitted C. 14 poison A. 
15 drinkinge A immediately C down A. 16 awaye A. 17 Gent- 
lemen C. 18 theereby C. 19 cleare C maye A- 20 easily C 
seene AC. 21 faithfull AC. 22 yeeldeth C anie AC. 


\ crete affection, but geueth holsome connsell, which 

the yll aduised Prince refuseth. The delightfull 

25 (jolde filled with poyson betokeneth flattery, ivhich 
vnder /aire seeming of pleasaunt wordes beareth 
deadly poyson, ivhich destroyed the Prince that 
receyueth it. As befell in the two brethren, 
Ferrex and Porrex , who refusing the holsome 

30 aduise of graue counsellours, credited these gong 
Paracites, and brought to them selues death and 

3a destruction therby. 


Ferrex. __" i 

I meruaile much what reason ledde the kiDg 
My father, thus without all my desert, 
465 To reue me halfe the kingdome, which by course 
[c. iij] Of law and nature should remayne to me. 

]. 23 Holsome, or as we now spell it „ wholesome", is the 
exact opposite of the world noisome, see 1. 773. The modern 
corrupt spelling „wholesome" appears to have been brought into 
use by writers accustomed to local English dialects in which 
this word among others was pronounced as though begining 
with a, w. It is therefore a true, though a local, phonetic 
spelling. See Mr. Bradley, in „The Academy" Sept. 24, and Prof. 
Zupitza, ib. Oct. 8, 1881. 

465 reue me, the preposition is suppressed, compare 1. 513. 

1. 23 geueth ] guieth any C wholesome C whiche A. 24 
ill C. 25 Flatterie C whiche A. 26 words A. 27 whiche 

destroieth A destroyeth C. 28 receiueth A brethrene A. 29 

whole some C. 30 yonge A yoong C. 31 to ] vnto C. 32 
thereby C. 

1. 463 muche A leade AC kynge A. 464 desarte AC. 
465 reaue C. 466 lawe AC shuld A remaine C. 




If you with stubborne and vntamed pryde 

Had stood against him in rebelling wise, 

Or if with grudging minde you had enuied 

So slow a slidyng of his aged yeres, ito I 

Or sought before your time to haste the course 

Of fatall death vpon his royall head, 

Or stained your stocke with murder of your kyn: 

Some face of reason might perhaps haue seemed, 

To yelde some likely cause to spoyl ye thus. 


The wrekeful Gods powre on my cursed head 
Eternall plagues and neuer dying woes, 
The hellish prince adiudge my dampned ghost 
To Tantales thirste, or proude Ixions wheele, 
Or cruell gripe to gnaw my growing harte, 
To during tormentes and vnquenched flames, 
If euer I conceyued so foule a thought, 
To wisshe his ende of life, or yet of reigne. 


Ne yet your father (0 most noble Prince) 
Did euer thinke so fowle a thing of you. 485 

For he, with more than fathers tendre loue, 
While yet the fates do lende him life to rule, 
(Who long might lyue to see your ruling well] 
To you my Lorde, and to his other sonne : 


1. 474 seemed, B. 

478 prince, B. 

4S0 Gripe, a vulture or griffin. 

1. 467 pride C. 468 stoode C rebellious AC. 469 enuyde 
C. 470 slowe A slidynge A sliding C yeores C. 473 stainde C 
kinne C. 475 yeeld C. spoile AC 476 wrekefull C heade C. 
478 damned C ghoste A. 479 Tantalus AC. 480 gnawe A 
groaning hart C. 481 durynge A torments C. 482 conoeiued 
C. 483 wish C. 486 tender C. 487 doo lend C. 488 Hue C 
se A rulynge A. 


490 Lo he resignes his realme and royaltie: 

Which neuer would so wise a Prince haue done, 
If he had once misdemed that in your harte 
There euer lodged so vnkinde a thought. 
- But tendre loue (my Lorde) and setled truste 

495 Of your good nature, and your noble minde, 
Made him to place you thus in royall throne, 
And now to geue you half his realme to guide, 
Yea and that halfe which in abounding store 
[v-] Of tilings that serue to make a welthy realme, 

500 In stately cities, and in frutefull soyle, 

In temperate breathing of the milder heauen, 
In thinges of nedefull vse, which frendly sea 
Transportes by traffike from the forreine partes, 
In flowing wealth, in honour, and in force, 

sos Doth passe the double value of the parte, 
That Porrex hath allotted to his veigne. 
Such is your case, such is your fathers loue. 

Ah loue, my frendes! loue wrongs not whom he 



Ne yet he wrongeth you, that geueth you 
5io So large a reigne, ere that the course of time 
Bring you to kingdome by discended right, 
"Which time perhaps might end your time before. 

1. 502 sea, B. 
508 who B. 

1. 491 w niche A doono C. 492 ones A misdeemde C hart. 
493 vnkiiid C. 494 trust C. 497 gine C halfe C. 498 which 
in ] within AC. 499 welthie AC. 500 statelie A. 502 things C 
needfull C frendlie A. 503 Transports C forraine C portes AC. 
504 welth C. 505 Dooth C part C. 507 suohe A. 508 
frends C. 509 giueth C. 5l0 tytne A. 511 hringo A des- 
cended C 

sc. }.] ferrex and porrex. 33 


Is thia no wrong, say you, to reaue from me 
My natiue right of halfe so great a realme? 
And thus to matche his yonger sonne with me 515 
In egall power, and in as great degree? 
Yea and what sonne? the sonne whose swelling 

Woulde neuer yelde one poinct of reuerence, 
Whan I the elder and apparaunt heire 
Stoode in the likelihode to possesse the whole, 520 
Tea and that sonne which from his childish age 
Enuieth myne honour, and dotli hate my life. 
What will he now do. when his pride, his rage, 
The mindfull malice of his grudging harte 
Is armed with force, with wealth, and kingly state? t>25 

Was this not wrong? yea, yll aduised wrong, 
"To giue so mad a man so sharpe a sworde, 
To so great perill of so great missehappe 
Wide open thus to set so large a waye? 

Alas my Lord, what griefull thing is this, 530 

[c iiij] That of your brother you can thinke so ill? 
I neuer saw him vtter likelie signe, 
Whereby a man might see or once misdeme 
Such hate of you, ne such unyelding pride. 

1. 5i!4 Mindfull, unfor^etful ; i. e. malice that bears in 
mind. See 11. 750, 784. 
528 missehappp, B. 

1. 513 saie A. f>15 match yoonger C. 517 swellyng 
pryde A. 51S would C yoeld C point C. 519 When C appa- 
rant C. 5'20 Stood C likelyhood C likelyhode A. 521 chil- 
dishe A. 522 mine A dooth C. 523 nowe A doo C. 524 
miiidefull A hart C. 525 armde C welth C. 526 ill C. 528 
mishappe A mishap C. 529 way C. 530 Lorde A. 532 sawe 
AC likely C. 533 misdeeme C. 534 Suche A vnyeldinge A 
vnyeelding C. 

Engl. Sprach- und Li* .-Derilim. I. 3 


535 111 is their counsell, shamefull be their ende, 
That raysing such mistrustfull feare in you, 
Sowing the seede of such vnkindly hate, 
Trauaile by treason to destroy you both. 
Wise is your brother, and of noble hope, 

640 Worthie to welde a large and mightie realme. 
So much a stronger frende haue you therby, 
Whose strength is your strength, if you gree in one. 

If nature and the Goddes had pinched so 
Their flowing bountie, and their noble giftes 
5« Of princelie qualities, from you my Lorde, 
And powrde them all at ones in wastfull wise 
Upon your fathers yonger sonne alone: 
~ N Perhappes there be that in your preiudice 

Would say that birth should yeld to worthinesse. 
550 But sithe in eche good gift and princelie arte 
Ye are his matche, and in the chiefo of all 
In mildenesse and in sobre gouernaunce 
Ye farre surmount; And sith there is in you 
Sufficing skill and hopefull towardnesse 
555 To weld the whole, and match your elders prayse: 
I see no cause why ye should loose the halfe. 
\ ( Ne would I wisshe you yelde to such a losse: 
\ Lest your milde sufferaunce of so great a wronge, 

Be deemed cowardishe and simple dreade: 
\ ' 660 Which shall geue courage to the fierie head 
Of your yonge brother to inuade the whole. 

1 536 raising- AC. 537 suche A. 538 treason ] reason 
AC. 540 weeld C. 541 muche A frend C thereby C. 543 
Gods C. 544 gifts C. 545 princely C qualyties A Lord C. 
546 once C. 547 younger A yoonger C. 548 Perhaps C- 549 
saie A shuH A yeelcl C worthines A woorthines C. 550 Sith 
C each C Princely C Acte AC 551 match C cheefe C. 552 
mildenes AC sober C. 553 far C sithe A. 554 sufficing C 
towardnes A. 555 praise AC. 556 whie AC. 557 wold A 
wish C yeelde C suche A. 558 Least C Sufferaunce C wrong C. 
5a9 cowardise C dread C. 560 Whiche A guie C fiery C. 561 
yonge C. 


While yet therfore stickes in the peoples minde 
The lothed wrong of your disheritaunce ; 
And ere your brother haue, by settled power, 
[Vo] By guilefull cloke of an alluring showe, 665 

Got him some force and fauour in the realme, 
And while the noble Queene your mother lyues, 
To worke and practise all for your auaile, / , 

Attempt redresse by armes, and wreake your self 
Upon his life, that gayneth by your losse, 670 

Who nowe to shame of you, and griefe of vs, 
In your owne kingdome triumphes ouer you. 
Shew now your courage meete for kingly state, 
That they which haue auowed to spend theyr 

Their landes, their Hues and honours in your 575 

May be the bolder to mainteyne your parte, 
When they do see that cowarde feare in you, 
Shall not betray ne faile their faithfull hartes. 
If once the death of Porrex ende the strife, 
And pay the price of his vsurped reigne, 080 

Tour mother shall perswade the angry kyng, 
The Lords your frends eke shall appease his rage. 

]. 568 Practise, to contrive, to plot. Compare Lear II, 
sc. 1, 1. 73 and Hamlet IV, sc. 7, 1. 68, 

„Bnt even his mother shall uncharge the practice 

And call it accident", 
see 11. 1164 and 1516. , 

574 Avowed = a-vowed. promised o\ oath. 1M 

578 Faile, to beguile, delude (Lat. fallere). 

1. 562 whiles AC sticks C mynde A. 563 loathed C 
wronge A. 564 setled C- 565 guylefull A cloake C allu- 
rynge A. 566 the] this AC. o67 Hues C. 568 woorke C 
practice A. 569 wreak C selfe A. 570 gaineth AC. 571 
now C greefe C 573 meet C kinglye C estate AC. 574 auowd 
C thei A their AC. 575 honors C. 576 maye A maiiteine A 
maintain C- 577 whan thei A doo C. 578 betraye C -ailo AC. 
579 ones A end C. 580 paie A. 581 kvnge A kin^ C. 582 
shal C. 



For they be wise, and well they can forsee, 
That ere lonpe time your aged fathers death 
586 Will bryng a time when you shall well requite 
Their frendlie fauour, or their hatefull spite, 
Yea, or their slackenesse to auaunce your cause. 
Wise men do not so hang on passing state 
Of present Princes, chiefely in their age, 
590 But they will further cast their reaching eye, 

To viewe and weye the times and reignes to come, 
i Ne is it likely, though the kyng be wrotbe, 

That he yet will, or that the realme will beare, 
Extreme reuenge vpon his onely sonne: 
595 Or, if he woulde, what one is he that dare 
Be minister to such an enterprise? 
And here you be now placed in your owne, 
I Amyd your frondes, your vassalles and your 
j | strength : 

J / We shall defende and kepe your person safe, 
600 pa Till either counsell turne his tender minde, 
Or age, or sorrow end his werie dayes. 
But if the feare of Goddes, and secrete grudge 
Of natures law, repining at the fact, 
Withholde your courage from so great attempt: 
605 Know ye, that lust of kingdomes hath n o law._ 
The Goddes do beare and well allow in kinges, 

J. tiOO Tender, pliant, ef. 1. 778. 

603 Repining at the fact, i. e. Nature turns with pain, 
or shrinks, from the deed of killing a brother. See 1. 256. "Re- 
pining courage", Spenser, Faerie Queene, I, e. 2, 17. Fact = evil 
deed or crime, in this play, as in Shakespeare. 

1 583 tliei A foresee C. 584 longe C. 585 brynge A 
bring C 586 freendly C. 587 slackenes A slacknes C. 588 
doo C hange A passyng A. 589 cheefely C. 590 reaehinge A. 
591 weigh AC. 59'2 lykely A thoughe A kinge A king C wrath 
C. 594 onelye A. 596 ministre A suche A. 597 heere C 
ni we A. 598 Amid C freends C vassailes C. 599 defend C 
keepe C. 600 Tyll A. 601 sorowe A ende A weary C daies 
A. 602 Gods C secret, O 603 lawe AC repynynge A facte A. 
604 attempte C. 605 knowe A Lawe AC. 606 doo C allowe A. 


The thinges they abhorre in rascall routes. 
"When kinges on slender quarrells runne to 

"And then in cruell and vDkindely wise, 
"Commaund theftes, rapes, murders of innocentes, 6io 
"The spoile of townes, ruines of mighty realmes : 
"Tbinke you such princes do suppose them selues 
"Subiect to lawes of kinde, and feare of Gods?" 
Murders and v iolent theftes in priuate men 
Are hainouscri mes, apd full of foule rep roch : eis 
jet none"*on I e nce7"bu t deckt with g lorious name 

*~teut if you ITkenot yet so hote~"3euise, 
Ke list to take such vauntage of the time, 
But, though with perill of your owne estate, 620 
You will not be the first that shall inuade; 
Assemble yet your force for your defence, 
And for your safetie stand vpon your garde. 


O heauen! was there euer heard or knowen, I 

So wicked counsel to a noble prince? 625 j 

Let me (my Lorde) disclose vnto your grace / 

This hainous tale, what mischiefe it containes, / 
Tour fathers death, your brothers and your owne, 
Your present murder and eternall shame. 

1. 614 men, B. 
624 heauen, B. 

1. 608 scienter A quarrels AC ron A run C. 609 than A. 
610 murder AC Innocents C. 611 The ] To AC spoyle C ruines] 
and reignes AC realms C. 612 Think C duo C suppose ] sup- 
presse AC. 61.7 heynous A heinous C crymes A reproche AC. 
616 deokod AC. 617 Conquests C Lines 616, 617 are misplaced 
in A and C, put before line 614. 618 hotte C. 619 suehe A. 

620 thoughe AC with— estate ] with great perill of your state AC. 

621 wil A. 623 standee 624 harden knowne C. 625 coun- 
sell AC. 627 heynous A heinous C mischeefe C conteynes A 
conteines C. 


630 Heare me (0 king) and suffer not to sinke 
So high a treason in your princely brest. 


I The mightie Goddes forbid that euer I 

j Should once conceaue such mischiefe in my hart. 

[Vo] Although my brother hath bereft my realme, 
p And beare perhappes to me an hatefull minde: 
] Shall I reuenge it, with his death therefore? 
Or shall I so destroy my fathers life 
That gaue me life? The Gods forbid, I say: 
Cease you to speake so any more to me: 
64o Ne you my frend with answere once repeate 
So foule a tale. In silence let it die. 
What lord or subieot shall haue hope at all, 
That vnder me they safely shall enioye 
Their goods, their honours, landes and liberties, 
645 With whom, neither one onely brother deare, 
He father dearer, could enioye their liues? 
But, sith I feare my yonger brothers rage, 
And sith perhappes some other man may geue 
Some like aduise, to moue his grudging head 
650 At mine estate; which counsel] may perchaunce 
Take greater force with him, than this with me, 
I will in secrete so prepare myselfe, 
As if his malice or his lust to reigne 

]. 647 But sith, B. 
(559 Defend, keep off. 

1. 630 suffro AC. 631 highe Princelie A 632 Gods C 
forbyd A. 633 shuld A conceiue AC suche A misiheefp C harte 
A 634 Althoughe A. 635 mee C an 1 and A 636 therCore 

AC. 637 lyfe A. 638 forbyd A saye A. 640 friende A freend 
C aunswere AC. 641 scilonc.e A dye C. 642 Lorde A. 643 
enioy C. 644 lands C. 64f> whome A deere C. 646 deerer 
C coulde A enioy C. 647 sithe A younger A. 648 sithe A 
perhaps C gyue A giue C 6i0 whiche A. 561 then C. 652 
secret C. 653 mallice C raigne C. 


Breake forth in armes or sodeine violence, 
I may withstand his rage and keepe mine owne. 656 
[Exeunt Ferrex and Hermon.] 


I feare the fatall time now draweth on, 
When ciuil hate shall end the noble line 
Of famous Brute, and of his royall seede. 
Great Ioue, defend the mischiefes now at hand. 
that the Secretaries wise aduise eeo 

Had erst bene heard, when he besought the king 
Not to diuide his land, nor send his sonnes 
To further partes from presence of his court, 
He yet to yelde to them his gouernaunce. 
Lo, such are they now in the royall throne 665 
As was rashe Phaeton in Phoebus carre. 
Ne then the fiery stedes did draw the flame 
[D a With wilder randon through the kindled skies, 
Than traitorous counsell now will whirle about 
The youthfull heades of these vnskilfull kinges. 670 
But I hereof their father will enforme. 
The reuerence of him prrhappes shall stay 
The growing mischiefes, while they yet are greene. 
If this helpe not, then woe vnto them selues, 
The prince, the people, the diuided land. 675 


1. 661 heard B. 

665 Lo B. 

1. 668 Randon, rashness, unsteady course. (0. Fr ) The 
word has here the older use as a noun. As a verb it occurs in 
1. 759. See Skeat's Etymol. Dictionary. 

1. 6f)4 Break foorth C in ] with AC. 655 -with stande A 
kepe myne A. 657 eyuill AC ende AC lyne AC 658 famouse 
A. • 659 defende A miaeheefes C nowe handp A. 6H1 earst C 
ben A beene C harde whan A kynge A 662 denide AC lande-. 
A sende A. 663 oourte AC. 664 yeelde C. 665 Loe C suehe A. 
nowe A. 666 rashe ] that C. 667 steedes C <!rawe AC. 669 
Then^lC councell AC wberle A. 670 heads AC. 671 heereof 
C. 672 perhaps C staye A. 673 mischeefes C thei grene A^_ 
674 wo A. 675 deuided AC lande A. 




And ia it thus? and doth he so prepare, 
Against his brother as his mortall foe? 
And now while yet his aged father liues? 
Neither regardes he him? nor feares he me? 
680 Warre would he haue? and he shall haue it so. 


I saw myselfe the great prepared store 
Of horse, of armour, and of weapon there, 
Ne bring I to my lorde reported tales 
Without the ground of seen and searched trouth. 

685 Loe secrete quarrels runne about his court, 
To bring the name of you my lorde in hate. 
Ech man almost can now debate the cause, 
And aske a reason of so great a wrong, 
Why he so noble and so wise a prince, 

690 Is aa vnworthy reft his heritage? 

And why the king, misseledde by craftie meanes 
Diuided thus his land from course of right? 
The wiser sort holde downe their griefull heades. 
Eche man withdrawes from talke and company 

695 Of those that haue bene knowne to fauour you. 
[v°] To hide the mischiefe of their meaning there. 

1. 676 dootli C. 678 nowe whyle A lyues A. 679 regards 
C. 681 sawe A. 682 armours AC weapons AC. 683 brynge A 
Lord C. 684 seene AC serched A troutho A troth C. 685 
quarrelles AC ronne A Courte AC. 686 bringo A Lord C. 687 
Eche AC nowe A. 688 wronge A. 689 Why ] while AC. 690 
vnworthio A vnwoorthy C. 691 whie A kinge A mislead AC. 
692 deuided AC lande A. 693 sortc C. 694 Ech C companie 
A. 695 ben A beene C knowen A, 696 meaninge A. 



Rumours are spread of your preparing here. 
The rascall numbers of vnskilfull sort 
Are filled with monstrous tales of you and yours. 
In secrete 1 was counselled by my frendes, 
To hast me thence, and brought you as you know 
Letters from those, that both can truely tell, 
And would not write vnlesse they knew it well. 


My lord, yet ere you moue vnkindly warre, 
Send to your brother to demaund the cause. 705 
Perhappes some traitorous tales haue filled his 

eares ] 

With false reportes against your noble grace : 
Which once disclosed, shall end the growing strife, 
That els not stayed with wise foresight in time 
Shall hazarde both your kingdomes and your Hues. 7io 
Send to your father eke, he shall appease 
Your kindled mindes, and rid you of this feare. 


Ridde me of feare ! I feare him not at all : 

Ne will to him, ne to my father send. 

If danger were for one to tary there, / 715 

Thinke ye it safetie to returne againe? 

In mischiefes, such as Ferrex now intendes, 

The wonted courteous lawes to messengers 

Are not obserued, which in iuste warre they vse. 

1. 697 Rumors C spred AC prepaiynge A heere C. 698 
nombres A of the C sorte A. 699 monsterous A of] of the C. 
700 secret C ooun3ailed AC friendi>s A Trends C 701 knowe C. 
702 truly C. 703 knewe A. 704 Lorde A mouo ] nowe A now 
C vnkindely A. 705 sende A deruaunde A. 706 Perhaps C 
trayterous A. 707 reports AC. 70S disclosde C shal ende A. 
709 staied A staiede C. 710 hazard C kingdoms C lyues A. 711 
Sende A. 712 minds C. 713 Rid C. 714 sende A. 715 
daunger AC tarye A tarn'e C 716 safely AC retonrne A. 717 
suohe A nowe A intends C. 718 woontod C. 719 whiohe A. 


720 Shall I so hazard any one of mine? 
Shall I betray my trusty frendes to him, 
That haue disclosed his treason vnto me? 
Let him entreate that feares, I feare him not. 
, Or shall I to the king my father send? 
1/725 Yea and send now, while such a mother Hues, 
I That loues my brother, and that hateth me? 
Shall I geue leasure, by my fonde delayes, 
To Ferrex to oppresse me all vnware? 
I will not, but I will inuade his realme, 
730 [d iij] And seeke the traitour prince within his court. 
:= >? Mischiefe for mischiefe is a due reward. 

His wretched head shall pay the worthy price 
Of this his treason and his hate to me. 
Shall I abide, and treate, and send and pray, 
735 And holde my yelden throate to traitours knife, 
While I with valiant minde and conquering force, 
Might rid myselfe of foes: and winne a realme? 
Yet rather, when I haue the wretches head, 
Then to the king my father will I send. 
740 The bootelesse case may yet appease his wrath: 
If not, I will defend me as I may. 

[Exeunt Porebx and tyndar.7 

]. 728 Oppresse, to overpower, to subdue. The Elizabethan 
sense of the word was nearer the Latin original than the modern 
use. See 11. 982, 1567. 

735 Yelden throate. An example of the inverted sentence 
used in this play. See 11. 200, 590, 970. See the participle 
yelden in 1. 992. knife? B. 

1. 720 hazarde A anie C myne A. 721 betraie A trustie 
C friende A frend C. 722 hath AC disclosde C. 723 intreat 
C. 724 kinge A sende AC. 725 sende A nowe A suche A 
lynes A, 726 mee A. 727 £iue leysure C. 728 all 1 at AC. 
731 rewarde A. 732 paie A worthie A pryce A. 734 and 
treate ] entreate A intreat. C sende A praie A. 735 yeelden 
throte C. 736 valiaunt A mind C. 739 Than A sende A. 740 
booteles C. 741 maye A. 



Lo, here the end of these two youthful kings, \ 

The father's death, the ruiue of their realmes. 

"0 most vnhappy state of counsellers, 

"That light on so vnhappy lordes and times, 7i5 

"That neither can their good aduise be heard, 

"Yet must they beare the blames of ill successe". 

But I will to the king their father haste, 

Ere this mischiefe come to the likely end, 

That if the mindfull wrath of wrekefull Gods, 750 

Since mightie Uions fall not yet appeased 

With these poore remnantes of the Troian name, 

Haue not determined by vnmoued fate 

Out of this realme to rase the Brittishe line, 

By good aduise, by awe of fathers name, ?55 

By force of wiser lordes, this kindled hate 

yet be quentched, ere it consume us all. 

• Chorus. 

When youth not bridled with a guiding stay 
Is left to randon of their owne delight, 

And welds whole realmes, by force of soueraign ™° 
Great is the- daunger of vnmaistred might, 

752 The Trojan name. It -will be remembered that 
according to Geoffry of Monmouth, Brute, who founded Britain, 
was great grandson of .ffineas. 

1. 742 Loe A heere C ende A youthfull C. 743 deth A 
realms ] reigne of their two realmes AC. 744 vnhappie C coun- 
sellours A counsellors C. 745 vnhappie Lords C. 746 barde A. 
747 thei A yll A. 748 haste ] hast C. 749 mischeefe C the] 
thai AC ende AC. 750 mindefnll A 752 remnant AC Troians 
AC. 753 determinedlie A determinedly vnmooued C 754 race 
C Brutish AC. 757 maye A quencht C. 758 whan A guyding 
staie A. 759 random C. 760 realms C soueraigne AC sway] 
fraie A frav C. 


[v»]Lest skillesse rage throwe downe with headlong 

Their lands, their states, their Hues, them aelues 

and al. 

When growing pride doth fill the swelling brest, 
765 And gredy lust^doth rayse the climbing minde, 

Oh hardlie maye the perill be represt, 

Ne feare of angrie Goddes, ne lawes kinde, 
i Ne countries care can fiered hartes restrayne, 
/ Whan force hath armed enuie and disdaine. 

770 When kinges of foresette will neglect the rede 
Of best aduise, and yelde to pleasing tales 
That do their fansies noysome humour feede, 

Ne reason, nor regarde of right auailes. 
Succeding heapes of plagues shall teach, to late, 
775 To learne the mischiefes of misguided state. 

I Fowle fall the traitour false, that vndermines 
The loue of brethren to destroye them both. 

1. 762 skillesse, unreasoning, A. S. scyl, reason. 
767 kinde, B. 

770 Fore sette, pre-determined. Cf. Ger. vorsetzen. Rede, 
advise, counsel. 

772 noisome, hurtful, disgusting. 

"The seeing these effects will be 
Both noisome and infections." Cymbeline, Act I, 
sc. 6, 1. 25; 

"Foul breath is noisome." Much Ado, V, sc. II, 1. 53. 

1. 762 Least C skilles A throw C fal A. 763 all AC. 
764 fil A. 765 greedie C raise AC clymbynge A mind C. 766 
hardly may C. 767 Gods C. 7«8 countrie A Country C fired C. 
769 When C. 770 Whan A foreset AC wyll neglecte A reede C. 
771 yeeld C pleasinge A. 772 doo C fancies C. 773 regard C. 
774 Succedinge A Succeeding C teacho A too C. 775 misguy- 
dinge A misguiding C. 777 Brethrene A destroy C bothe A. 


Wo_tq_the prince, that pliant eaie enclynes, 
And yeldes his mind to poysonous tale, that 
From flattering mouth. And woe to wretched land ?so 
That wastes it selfe with ciuil swordelin hand. 
Loe thus it is, poyson in golde to take, 
And holsome drinke in homely cuppe forsake. 

r 1 '" 6 %f 


1. 778 "W'oe pliaunt inclines C. 779 yeelds C minde AC 
poisenous C. 780 flatterynge A wo A land C. 781 wasts AC 
ciuyll A eiuill C sword C hande AC. 782 poison C. 783 
wholesome C. 



Firste the musicke of flutes began to playe, during 
which came in vpon the stage a company of 
5 mourners all clad in blacke betokening death and 
sorowe to ensue vpon the ill-aduised misgouerne- 
ment and discention of bretherne, as befell vpon 
the murder of Ferrex by his yonger brother. 
After the mourners had passed thryse about the 
10 stage, they departed, and than the musicke ceased. 




cruel fates, mindful wrath of Goddes, 
785 Whose vengeance, neither Simois stayned streames 
Flouing with bloud of Troian princes slaine, 
Nor Phrygian fieldes made ranck with corpses dead 
Of Asian kynges and lordes, can yet appease, 

]. 7 murderer B. 

* In the original, the names of Philander and Nuntius are 
set here, instead of in their proper entries, after lines 841 and 937. 

1. 2 dumbe third Acte C. 3 First ronsike C Fluites AC 
beganne C play C. 4 vppon C eompanye A companie C. 5 be- 
tokening A sorrowe C. 6 yll A. 7 Brethren C. 9 thrise C. 
10 thei A ihen C ceased ] caused A. 

1. 784 Cruell AC mindful] AC Gods C. 785 streined AC 
786 Flowing AC blood AC. 787 fields C rancke A. 788 kings 
C Lords C. 


Ne slaughter of vnhappie Pryams race. 

Nor Ilion's fall made leuell with the soile, "w 

Can yet suffice: but still continued rage 

Pursues our lyues, and from the farthest seas 

Doth chase the issues of destroyed Troye. 

"Oh, no man happie, till his ende be seene". 

If any flowing wealth and seemyng ioye 795 

In present yeres might make a happy wight, 

Happie was Hecuba, the wofullest wretch 

That euer lyued to make a myrrour of, 

And happie Pryam, with his noble sonnes. 

And happie I, till nowe alas I see soo 

And feele my most vnhappye wretchednesse. 

Beholde my lordes, read ye this letter here. 

Loe it conteins the ruine of our realme, 

If timelie speede prouide not hastie helpe. 

Yet ye Goddes, if euer wofull kyng sos 

Might moue ye kings of kinges, wreke it o n me 

And on my sonn es , not on this giltlesse realme. 

Send down your wasting flames from wrathful skies^ 

To reue me and my -Sonnes the hatefull breath. 

]. 790 soile. B. 797 Hecuba the B. 805 ( ye Goddes). 

808 fro B. 809 To reave, to rob, to deprive; the verb takes 
indirect as well as direct object, of. bereft, 1. 634. 

"Though no part of his worth to reave him." 

Heywood, Troia Britanica. 1609. 
1. 798 Myrrour, show, exemplar. Used with this sense in 
Shakespeare, Hen. V, 2, Chor. 6, and in the titles of several 
early books, as ''Mirrour of Justices' 1 , „Mirrour of Princely 
Deedes", 1598, etc. 

1. 791 suffise C. 792 Pursue AC lines C. 793 Dooth C 
chast AC distroyed A destroied Troy C. 794 tyll A end C. 
795 flowyng A secmynge A ioy C. 796 yeeres C happie C. 797 
wretehe A. 798 liued C mirrour C. 801 vnhappie AC wret- 
chednes AC. 802 Behold C Lords C reade A heere C. 803 
Lo C conteines AC ruyne A our ] this C. 804 timely speed C 
hastie A. 805 Gods C kynge A king C. 806 ye ] you AC 
wreake C. 807 g-iltles AC. 808 sende A downs C wrathfull C. 

809 reaue C hateful A. 


t 8io Read, read my lordes: this is the matter why 
I called ye nowe to haue your good aduyse. 

[V»] The letter from Dordan, the Counsellour of the 

elder prince. 

Eubulus readeth the letter. 

My soueraigne lord, what I am loth to write, 
But lothest am to see, that I am forced 
By letters nowe to make you vnderstande. 
i sis My lord Ferrex your eldest sonne jaisledde 

By traitorous fraude of yong vntempred wittes, 
Assembleth force agaynst your yonger sonne, 
Ne can my counsell yet withdrawe the heate 
And furyous panges of hys enflamed head. 
820 Disdaine (sayth he) of his disheritance 

Armes him to wreke the great pretended wrong, 
With ciuyll sword vpon his brothers life. 
If present helpe do not restraine this rage, 
This flame will wast your sonnes, your land, 
and you. 

your maiesties faithfull and most 

humble subieet Dordan. 


825 king, appease your griefe and stay your plaint, 
Great is the matter, and a wofull ease. 
But timely knowledge may bring timely helpe. 
Sende for them both vnto your presence here. 

1. 820 Pretended, i. e. offered, put forth. 

1. 810 reado A whie A. 811 aduise C. 812 souereigne C 
814 Leters C now C vnderstand C, 815 mislead AC. 816 trai- 
torous fraude ] traitours fvaiudo AC yoong C. 81 7 against C* 
yoonsrer C. 818 withdraw C 819 furious pangs C his AC 
inflamed C. 820 saieth A saith C inheritaunce AC. 821 wronge 
A. 822 swoord C. 823 doo C. 824 waste C subiecte A. 826 
griefe A greefe C staie A. 827 maye A bringe A timely \ 
manly C help AC. 828 send C heere C 




The reuerence of your honour, age, and state, 

Your graue aduice, the awe of fathers name, 

Shall quicklie knit agayne this broken peace. 

And if in either of my lordes your sonnes, 

Be suche vntamed and vnyelding pride, 

As will not bende vnto your noble hests: 

If Ferrex the elder sonne can beare no peere, 

Or Porrex not content, aspires to more 

(ej) Than you him gaue aboue his natiue right; 

Joyne with the iuster side, so shall you force 

Them to agree, and holde the laDde in stay. 


"What meaneth this? Loe yonder comes in hast 84o 
Philander from my lord your yonger sonne. 

[Enter PhilasderJ 
The Goddes sende ioyfull newes. 


The mightie Joue 
Preserue your maiestie, noble king. 

Philander, welcome: but how doth my son? 

Your sonne, sir, lyues, and healthie I him left. 845 
But yet (0 king) the want of lustfull health 

1. 834 Hests, commands. 

"O my father 
I hare broke your heat to say so". 

Tempest III, so. 1, 1. 37. 

1. 830 aduise A. 831 quickelie A quickly C againe AC 
peece A. 833 vnyeelding C. 834 bend C liestes AC 837 
Then AC. 839 staie A. 840 haste C. 842 Gods C. 843 kinge A. 
844 dooth C sonne AC. 845 Hues C. 846 kinge A the ] this AC. 

Engl, Sprach- und Lit.-Denkm. I. 4 


Could not be halfe so griefefull to your grace, 
As these most wretched tidynges that I bryng. 


heauens, yet more? not ende of woes to me? 


850 Tyndar, king, came lately from the court 
Of Ferrex, to my lord your yonger sonne, 
And made reporte of great prepared store 
For warre, and sayth that it is wholly ment 
Agaynst Porrex, for high disdayne that he 

855 Lyues now a king and egall in degree 

With him, that claimeth to succede the whole, 
As by due title of discending right. 
Porrex is nowe so set on flaming fire, 
Partely with kindled rage of cruell wrath, 

860 Partely with hope to gaine a realme thereby, 
That he in hast prepareth to inuade 
His brothers land, and with vnkindely warre 
Threatens the murder of your elder sonne, 
Ne could I him perswade that first he should 

865 Send to his brother to demaunde the cause, 
Nor yet to you to staie this hatefull strife. 
[v»] Wherfore sithe there no more I can be hearde, 

1 come my selfe now to enforme your grace, 
And to beseche you, as you loue the life 

870 And safetie of your children and your realme, 
Now, to employ your wisdome and your force 
To stay this mischiefe ere it be to late. 

1. 847 half A greefefull C. 848 tidinges C brynge A 
bring C. 849 no end AC. 850 Courte AC. 851 Lorde A. 
853 For ] Of AC saith AC whollie A. 854 Against AC highe A 
disdaine AC. 855 LiueB C nowe A kynge A. 856 succeede C. 
857 discendmge A. 858 now C flamynge A fier C. 859 wrathe 
A. 860 therby AC. 861 haste AC. 862 lande A. 864 ooulde 
A. 865 sende A. 866 stay A this ] his AC. 867 sith C harde 
A heard C. 868 nowe A. 869 beseeohe C liefe A. 871 Nowe 
A emploie A. 872 staie A staye C misoheefe C too C. 



Are they in armes? would he not sende to me? 
Is this the honour of a fathers name? 
In vaine we trauaile to asswage their mindes, 875 
As if their hartes, whome neither brothers loue, 
Nor fathers awe, nor kingdomes cares, can moue, 
Our counsels could withdraw from raging heat. 
Ioue slay them both, and end the cursed line. 
For though perhappes feare of such mightie force sso 
As I my lordes, ioyned with your noble aides, 
Maye yet raise, shall represse their present heate, 
The secret grudge and malice will remayne, 
The fire not quenched, but kept in close restraint, 
Fedde still within, breakes forth with double flame, 885 
Their death and myne must peaze the angrie Gods. 


Telde not, king, so much to weake dispeire. 
Your sonnes yet lyue, and long I trust, they shall. 
If fates had taken you from earthly life, 
Before beginning of this ciuyll strife: 890 

Perhaps your sonnes in their vnmaistered youth, 
Loose from regarde of any lyuing wight, 
"Would runne on headlong, with vnbridled race, 
To their owne death, and ruine of this realme. 

1. 875 Assuage, soften. "The good gods assuage thy 
wrath". Coriolanus "V, sc. 2, 1. 83. 
886 Peaze, appease. 
894 death B. 

1. 873 thei A send C to ] for AC. 877 care A. 878 ooun- 
sells C withdrawe AC ragyng A heate C. 879 slaye AC ende A 
Lyne A. 880 perhaps C mighty C suche A. 881 Lords A. 882 
May C represse ] expresse C. 883 secrete A malyce A remaine 
C. 884 fier C quentched A restrainte C. 885 Fead A Fed C 
stil A foorth C. 886 mine AC pease C angry C. 887 Yeelde 
C dispaier A dispaire C. 888 Hue C 889 Tf A. 890 begynning 
A. 892 Lose AC lyuyng AC. 893 Wolde ronne A headlonge 
A vnbrideled C. 



895 But sith the Gods, that haue the care for kinges, 
Of thinges and times dispose the order so, 
That in your life this kindled flame breakes forth, 
While yet your lyfe, your wisdome, and your 

May stay the growing mischiefe, and represse 

mo The fierie blaze of their inkindled heate : 
[e y] It seemes, and so ye ought to deeme thereof, 
That louyng Ioue hath tempred so the time 
Of this debate to happen in your dayes, 
That you yet lyuing may the same appeaze, 

905 And adde it to the glory of your latter age, 
And they [y]our sonnes may learne to liue in peace. 
Beware (0 king) the greatest harme of all, 
Lest by your waylefull plaints your hastened death 
Yelde larger roume unto their growing rage. 

910 Preserue your life, the onely hope of stay. 
And if your highnes herein list to vse 
Wisdome or force, counsell or knightly aide : 
Loe we, our persons, powers and lyues are yours, 
Use us tyll death, O king, we are your owne. 


9i5 Loe here the perill that was erst foresene, 
When you, (O king) did first deuide your lande, 
And yelde your present reigne vnto your sonnes, 
But now (0 noble prince) now is no time 

1. 895 kinges. B. 
898 power. B. 
917 sonnes B. 

1. 898 life AC. 899 maye staie A mischeefe C. 900 
fiery C vnkindled C. 901 therof AC. 902 louing C. 903 daies 
AC. 904 liuing C lyuynge A maye A. 905 glorie A. 906 your 
C maye A. 907 kynge A. 908 Least C wayleful A wailefull 
C. 909 Teelde C roome C growynge A. 910 lyfe A only C 
staie A. 911 heerin C. 913 Hues C. 914 till C. 915 heere 
foreseene C. 918 heere C foreseene C. 916 Land C. 917 yeelde 
C raigne AC. 918 nowe A. 


To waile and plaine, and wast your wofull life. 

Now-4s the time for present good aduise. 920 

Sorow doth darke the iudgement of the wytte. 

"The hart vnbroken, and the courage free 

"From feble faintnesse of bootelesse despeire, I 

"Doth either ryse to safetie or renowme 

"By noble valure of vnuanquisht minde, 925 

"Or yet doth perishe in more happy sort." 

Tour grace may send to either of your sonnes 

Some one both wise and noble personage, 

Which with good counsell and with weightie name, 

Of father, shall present before their eyes 930 

Your hest, your life, your safetie and their owne, 

The present mischiefe of their deadly strife. 

And in the while, assemble you the force 

"Which your commaundement and the spedy hast 

[v°] Of all my lordes here present can prepare. 935 

The terrour of your mightie power shall stay 

The rage of both, or yet of one at lest. 

[Enter] Nuntius. 

king the greatest griefe that euer prince dyd 

That euer wofull messenger did tell, 
That euer wretched lande hath sene before, 940 

1. 9l9 Compare with this Chaucer's line 

"And let him care, and wepe, and wringe, and waile" 
Clerkes Tale, last line. 
922 vnbroken B. 

1. 919 wayle A lyfe A waste C. 920 nowe A aduice C. 
921 sorowe A Sorrow C dooth C wit C. 923 feeble C faintnes 
A faintenes C booteles AC dispaier A dispaire C. 924 rise C 
renowne A. 925 valour C vnuanquisshed A vnuanquished C. 
926 dooth C. perrish C happie sorte AC. 927 maye sende 
A. 929 counsel A councell C weitfhtye C. 931 liefe A. 932 
mischeefe C deadlie A- 934 Whiche A spedie A speedy C haste 
C. 935 heere C. 936 mighty C steye A staye C. 937 bothe 
A least C. 938 greefe C here A. 940 land AC seene AC. 


I bryng to you. Porrex your yonger sonne 
With soden force inuaded hath the lande 
That you to Ferrex did allotte to rule, 
And with his owne most bloudy hand he hath 
946 His brother slaine, and doth possesse his realme. 


heauens send down the flames of your reuenge,_ 
Destroy I say with flash of wrekefull fier 
The traitour sonne, and then the wretched sire. 
But let vs go, that yet perhappes I may 
960 Die with reuenge, and peaze the hatefull gods. 



The lust of kingdome knowes no sacred faith, 

No rule of reason, no regarde of right, 
No kindely loue, no feare of heauens wrath. 

But with contempt of Goddes, and mans despite, 
955 Through blodie slaughter doth prepare the waies 

To fatall scepter and accursed reigne. 
The sonne so lothes the fathers lingering daies, 

Ne dreades his hand in brothers blode to staine 

1. 942 force, B. 

* The stanzas in this Chorus are not separate in any of 
the editions. 

1. 950 Hatefull gods, i. e. "the gods who are full of hate 
towards, me"- The modern use of the word (also found here. e. 
g. 1. 1245) conveys the opposite sense, viz. that "I hate the gods"- 
955 slaughter, B. 
959 Becorde, remember, recall. 

"I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death : 
Record it with your high and worthy deeds." 

Much Ado. Act V, sc. 1. 1. 278. 

1. 941 brynge A bring C. 942 sudden C land C. 943 
alotte C. 944 bloudie hande A. 945 dooth C. 947 Destroie 
A saie A flasshe A wreakefull C. 948 than A. 949 goe C 
perhaps C maye A. 950 Dye C. 951 kingdomes AC faithe A. 
953 kindlie wrathe A. 954 Gods C. 955 bloodye C dooth C. 
957 sonnes C loathes C lingerynge A lingring C. 958 bloud C. 


wretched prince, ne doest thou yet recorde 

The yet fresh murthers done within the lande 960 
Of thy forefathers, when the cruell sworde 

Bereft Morgan his life with cosyns hand? 
Thus fatall plagues p ursue the giltie race, 
"' -Whose murderous nandT^rnhrued ' w itTTgiltlesse 

Askes vengeaunce s till before the heauens face, 965 

With' endlesse mischiefel on the - cursed brdode. 
[e iij] The wicked childe thus bringes to wofull sire 

The mournefull plaintes, to wast his very life. 
Thus do the cruell flames of ciuyll fier 

Destroy the parted reigne with hatefull strife. 970 
And hence doth spring the well from which doth flow 
The dead black streames of mourning, plaints 
and woe. 


1. 959 doost C. 960 fresshe A doone C lands C. 961 
thie A swoord C. 962 liefp A Cozins C tiande A. 963 guiltie 
C. 96-4 giltles AC bloud C. 965 vengeance C still omitted in 
AC. S66 endles AC brood C. 967 child C thus ] this AC brings 
C sier A. 968 plaints C very | wery A weary C 969 doo 
ciuill. fire C. 970 Destroye A. 971 doolh C dooth floe C flo 
A. 972 blacke streams C mournings AC 



First the musick of Rowboies began to plaie, during 
which there came from vnder the stage, as 

5 though out of hell three furies, Alecto, Megera, 
and Ctesiphone, clad in black garmentes sprink- 
led with bloud and flames, their bodies girt with 
snakes, their heds spred with serpentes in stead 
of heare, the one bearing in her hand a Snake, 

10 the other a whip, and the third a burning Fire- 
brand : ech drilling before them a king and a 
queene, which, moued by furies vnnaturally had 
slaine their owne children. The names of the 
kings and queenes were these, Tantalus, Medea, 

is Athamas, Ino, Cambises, Althea; after that the 
furies and these had passed about the stage 
thrise, they departed and than the musicke ceased. 
Hereby was signified the vnnaturall murders to 
follow, that is to say, Porrex slaine by his owne 

20 mother, and of king Gorboduc and queene Viden, 
killed by their owne subiecies. 

1. 1 bega B. 

3 Eowboies , Fr. hautbois, hautboy a wind instrument 
sounded through a reed, with three pieces besides. The ancient 
English name was wayght, which became transferred to the 
men who played it. Many towns in former times kept their waits 
or pipers, who provided music at the public expense; money paid 
to the "town waits" often appears on old municipal accounts. 

17 ceased : hereby ABC. 

19 say. AB 20 mother. And ABC. 

1. 2 dumbe C shewe AC Acte AC. 3 Musike C Howe- 
boies AC playe C duringe A. 4 whiohe A came forth A foorth 
C. 5 thoughe A. 6 blacke garments AC. 8 heads C spread 
A serpents AC steade A steed C haire C. 9 bearinge hande A. 
10 thirde A Firebrande A eche AC driuynge A. 11 eche C 
kynge A whiche A mooued C. 12 vnnaturallye A, 15 aboute 
A. 16 then C musike C Heereby C. 19 followe AC saie A. 



Viden sola. 

Why should I lyue, and linger forth my time 
In longer life to double my distresse? 
me most wofull wight, whom no mishappe, 976 
[v°] Long ere this day could haue bereued hence. 
Mought not these handes by fortune, or by fate, 
Haue perst this brest, and life with iron reft? 
Or in this palace here, where I so long 
Haue spent my daies, could not that happie houre 9so 
Once, once haue hapt in which these hugie frames 
With death by fall might haue oppressed me? 
Or should not this most hard and cruell soile, 
So oft where I haue prest my wretched steps, 
Sometime had ruthe of myne accursed life, 985 

To rende in twayne, [and] swallow me therin? 
So had my bones possessed now in peace 
Their happie graue within the closed grounde, 
And greadie wormes had gnawen this pyned hart 
Without my feeling payne: so should not now 990 
This lyuing brest remayne the ruthefull tombe, 

1. 980, 981 A play on the words happie and hapt, i. e. 
"0 that the chance hour had come". Hugie, for huge, "the hugie 
hosts", Mirror for Magistrates, Sackeville's Induction, ed. 1571, 
fo. 110 t°. See also, 1. 1626 etc. 

989 Pined, grieved : pine, grief or sorrow. 

1. 973 liue C lynger A foorth C. 974 liefe A. 975 
mee C whome AC mishap AC. 976 Longe A daie A bereaued C. 
977 Might C, 978 pearst C. 979 pallaice A pallace C longe 
A. 981 ones, ones A. 983 soyle C. 985 sometyme A some- 
times C ruth C liefe A. 986 rend C twaine C and AC not in 
B swallowe A therein C. 987 nowe A. 988 ground C. 989 
greedie C gnawne C. 990 feelynge A paine AC shulde A nowe 
A. 991 lyuynge A liuing C remaine C ruthfull C. 


Wherin my hart yelden to death is graued: 
Nor driery thoughts, with panges of pining griefe 
My dolefull minde had not afflicted thus. 
995 my beloued sonne: my swete childe, 
j My deare Ferrex, my ioye, my lyues delyght. 

I Is my beloued sonne, is my sweete childe, 

My deare Ferrex, my ioye, my lyues delight, 
Murdered with cruell death? hatefull wretch, 
iooo heynous traitour both to heauen and earth. 
Thou Porrex, thou this damned dede hast 

Thou Porrex, thou shalt dearely bye the same. 
Traitour to kinne and kinde, to sire and me, 
To thine owne fleshe, and traitour to thy selfe. 
1005 The Gods on thee in hell shall wreke their wrath, 
And here in earth this hand shall take reuenge, 
On thee Porrex, thou false and caitife wight. 
If after bloud so eigre were thy thirst, 
And murderous minde had so possessed thee, 
ioio If such hard hart of rocke and stonie flint 
[e iiij] Liue in thy brest, that nothing els could like 
Thy cruell tyrantes thought but death and bloud : 
"Wilde sauage beasts, mought not their slaughter 

1. 998 delight, B. 

1002 Bye, shortened form of abye, to pay for, make amends 
(A. S. abicgan). 

1006 reuenge, B. 

1008 bloud, B. Eigre, eager; sharp, sour (Fr. aigre). 

1. 992 Wherein C yeelden A. 993 pangs C. 994 mind 
hath C. 995 sweet child C. 996 ioy C Hues A delight AC. 
997 beloued ] welbeloued AC sweet child C. 998 ioy C liues 
C. 999 Murdred C wretche A. 1000 hainous C traytour A 
bothe A. 1001 deed C. 1002 bye ] abye AC. 1004 thyne 
flesshe A flesh C. 1005 the A wreake C. 1006 heere C. 1007 
thee] the A caytife A. 1008 blode A eager C. 1009 mind C. 
1010 suche A. 1011 lyued A liued C elles A. 1012 tyrantes 
C bloode A. 1013 Wilde AC might C their ] the AC. 


To fede thy gredie will, and in the middest 

Of their entrailes to s'taine thy deadly handes 1015 

With bloud deserued, and drinke thereof thy fill? 

Or if nought els but death and bloud of man 

Mought please thy lust, could none in Brittaine land, 

Whose hart betorne out of his panting brest 

With thine owne hand, or worke what death thou 1020 y 

Suffice to make a sacrifice to peaze 
That deadly minde and murderous thought in thee, 
But he who in the selfesame wombe was wrapped, 
Where thou in dismall hower receiuedst life? 
Or if nedes, nedes, thy hand must slaughter make, 1025 
Moughtest thou not haue reached a mortall wound, 
And with thy sword haue pearsed this cursed 

That the accursed Porrex brought to light, 
And geuen me a iust reward therefore? 
So Ferrex yet sweete life mought haue enioyed, 103 ° 
And to his aged father comfort brought, 
With some yong sonne in whom they both might 

But whereunto waste I this ruthfull speche, 
To thee that hast thy brothers bloud thus shed? 
Shall I still thinke that from this wombe thou 1035 


1 1022 thee? B. 
1035 fro B. 

1. 10:4 feede C greedy C myddest A. 1015 deadlie A. 
1016 blode A blood C therof fyll A. 1017 Mood C. 1018 might 
C Bryttain A Britaine C. 1019 panting ] louyng A louing C. 
1020 own C worke A woldest A wouldst C. 1021 Snffise C 
appeaze A appease C. 1022 deadlie A thee ] the A. 1023 
self A. 1024 houre C. 1025 needes C thyjthie A this C 
must] might C. 1026 Mightest C reacht C. 1027 sworde A 
persed A pierst C womb A. 1028 lyght A. 1029 giuen C 
rewarde therfore A. 1030 yet ] if AC swete A sweet C. 1031 
might C. 1032 whome C thei A. 1033 wast A ruthefull A. 
1034 the A. 1035 stil thinke A womb A sproong C. 


That I thee bare? or take thee for my sonne? 

No traitour, no. I thee refuse for mine, 

Murderer I thee renounce, thou art not mine. 

Neuer, wretch, this wombe concerned thee, 
loio Nor neuer bode I painfull throwes for thee. 

Changeling to me thou art, and not my childe, 

Nor to no wight, that sparke of pitie knew. 

Ruthelesse, vnkinde, monster of natures worke 

Thou neuer suckt the milke of womans brest, 
; 1045 But from thy birth the cruell Tigers teates 

[Vo] Haue nursed thee, nor yet of fleshe and bloud 
- V. Formde is thy hart, but of hard iron wrought; 

And wilde and desert woods bredde thee to life. 

But canst thou hope to scape my iust reuenge? 
1050 Or that these handes will not be wrooke on thee? 

Doest thou not know that Ferrex mother hues, 

That loued him more dearly than her selfe? 

And doth she liue, and is not venged on thee? 

1. 1041 Changeling. Videna supposes that the fairies stole 
her real son and that the Porrex she now addresses is a bad 
fairy child left in his stead. Spenser says 

"From thence a fairy thee unweeting reft, 
There as thou slepst in tender swadling band 
And her base elfin brood there, for thee, left: 
Such, men do chaungelings call, so chaunged 
by fairies theft." 

Fairie Queen I, x, 65. 

1. 1037 Traytour A the A. 1039 wretche A conceued A. 
1040 painefull C. 1041 Cbaungeling C. 1042 pytie A pittie 
C knewe AC. 1043 Rutheles A Ruthles C vnkind C. 1044 
AC suckte A breaste A. 1045 Tigres AC flesshe A flesh C. 
1046 thee omitted in AC. 1048 breade A bred C lyfe A. 1050 
handes C wrooke] wrekte C. 1051 Dooest C knowe AC lyues 
A. 1052 dearelie A dearely C then A. 1053 dooth C lyue A. 




"We marvell much wherto this lingring stay 

Falles out so long: Porrex vnto our court 1055 

By order of our letters is returned^ 

And Eubulus receaued from vs byhest, 

At his arrivall here, to geue him charge 

Before our presence straight to make repaire, 

And yet we haue no worde whereof he stayes. weo 

Lo where he commes and Enbulus with him. 

[Enter Eubitlus and PorrexJ 


According to your highnesse hest to me, 

Here haue I Porrex brought euen in such sort 

As from his weried horse he did alight, 

For that your grace did will such hast therein. ioea 

We like and praise this spedy will in you, 

* In the original, the names of Euhulus, Porrex and Mar- 
cella, are also placed here, instead of at their proper entries. 

1. 1054 Stay is used in this act in the sense of delay, see 
11. 1060, 1084 etc. In the previous acts it usually signifies sup- 
port, firmness or restraint see 1. 195, 201 ; except 11. 825, 872, 899. 

1. 1054 mavueyle A meruaile C muche A whereto C linge- 
ryng A lingering C staie AC. 1055 courte A. 1056 retour- 
ned A. 1057 receyued A receiued C. 1058 arriuall C giue C. 
1059 streight AC. 1060 have ] heare C word C wherof A staies 
AC. 1061 loe A comes C hym A. 1062- accordynge A highnes 
AC. 1063 Heere C suche A. 1064 wearied C alighte A. 1065 
suche A. 1066 spedie wyll A speedie C. 


To worke the thing that to your charge we gaue. 

[To PoreexJ 

Porrex, if we so farre should swarue from kinde, 
And from those boundes which law_eli)£jia±uxe sets, 
As thou hast done by vile and wretched deede, 

1070 In cruell murder of thy brothers life 

Our present hand could stay no longer time, 
But straight should bathe this blade in bloud of 

[p j] As iust reuenge of thy detested crime. 
No: we should not offend th£._LaaLe-ef— kinde, 

1075 If now this sworde of ours did slay thee here: 
For thou hast murdered him, whose heinous death 
Euen natures force doth moue vs to reuenge 
By bloud againe; and iustice forceth vs 
To measure death for death, thy due desert. 

1080 Yet sithens thou art our childe, and sith as yet 
In this hard case what worde thou canst alledge 
For thy defence, by vs hath not bene heard, 
We are content to staye our will for that 
Which iustice biddes vs presently to worke, 

io85 _A^ na g eue thee leaue to vse thy speche at full 
If ought thou haue to lay for thine excuse. 

Neither O king, I can or will denie 
But that this hand from Ferrex life hath reft: 

1. 1067 woorke C. 1068 shulde A. 1069 these C 
bounds A lawes AC. 1070 doone C, 1072 hande coulde staie 
A lenger tyme A. 1073 streight AC shuld bath C the A 1074 
cryme A. 1075 shuld A offende A. 1076 nowe A sword C 
slaie A heere C. 1078 dooth C 1079 and] but A. 1080 deserte 
AC. 1081 sithe A. 1082 harde A word C. 1083 ben A beene 
C harde A- 1084 staie wyll A. 1085 whiohe A bids C woorke 
C. 1086 giue C the A speache A speech C. 1087 laye AC. 
1088 kyng wyll A deny C. 1089 hande A lyfe A 


Which fact how much my dolefull hart doth waile, 1090 

Oh would it mought as full appeare to sight, 

As inward griefe doth poure it forth to me. 

So yet perhappes if euer ruthefull hart 

Melting in tears within a manly brest, 

Through depe repentance of his bloudy fact, 1095 

If ever griefe, if euer wofull man 

Might moue regreite with sorrowe of his fault, 

I thinke the torment of my mournefull case 

Knowen to your grace, as I do feele the same, 

Would force euen wrath her selfe to pitie me. noo 

But as the water troubled with the mudde 

Shewes not the face which els the eye should see; 

Euen so your irefull minde with stirred thought, 

Cannot so perfectly discerne my cause. 

But this vnhappe, amongest so many happes, 1105 

I must content me with, most wretched man, 

That to my selfe I must reserue my woe, 

[Vo] In pining thoughtes of mine accursed fact, 

Since I may not shewe here my smallest griefe 

Such as it is. and as my brest endures, mo 

Which I esteeme the greatest miserie 

Of all missehappes that fortune now can send. 

Not that I rest in hope with plaint and. teares 

11. 1090, 1095 Fact, a bad deed or action, the ordinary 
sense of the word at this date. See 1. 603 note. 
1102 see. B. 
1105 heapes B. 
1112 send, B. 

1. 1090 doleful A. 1092 inwarde A greefe C dooth C 
powre A foorth C. 1093 perhaps C- 1094 teares AC raanlie A 
breast AC. 1095 Throughe A deepe C repentaunce A bloudie 
facte A. 1096 greefe C men C. 1097 sorowe A sorrow C 
faulte C. 1099 doo C. 1100 woulde A pytie A pittie C raee C 
1102 whiche A shulde A. 1105 vnhape C amongst A happes] 
heapes AC. 1107 reserue ] referre AC. 1108 pynynge thoughts 
A myne A facte A. 1109 Sithens A sithence C heere C greefe C. 
1110 breast AC- 1111 Whiche A esteme A myserie A. 1112 
mishappes AC nowe A sende A. 1113 plainte AC. 


To purchase life: for to the Goddes I clepe 
1115 For true recorde of this my faithfull speche, 
Neiier this hart shall haue the thoughtfull dread 
To die the death that by your graces dome 
By iust desert, shall be pronounced to me: 
Nor neuer shall this tongue once spend the speche 
1 1120 Pardon to craue, or seeke by sute to liue. 

I meane not this, as though I were not touchde 
With care of dreadfull death, or that I helde 
Life in contempt: but that I know, the minde 
Stoupes to no dread, although the fleshe be fraile, 
«25 And for my gilt, I yelde the same so great 
As in my selfe I finde a feare to sue 
For graunt of life. 


In vaine, wretch, thou shewest 
A wofull hart, Ferrex now lies in graue, 
Slaine by thy hand. 


Yet this, father, heare: 
"so And then I end. Your majestie well knowes, 
That when my brother Ferrex and my selfe 
By your owne hest were ioyned in gouernance 
Of this your graces realme of Brittaine land, 
I neuer sought nor trauailled for the same, 

1. 1114 clepe, appeal. 

1116 Thoughtfull, i. e. full of care, anxious. Cf. 1. 1312. 

1. 1114 To] Should AC Gods C. 1115 speaohe A speech 
C. 1116 harte A dreade C. 1117 dye C doome C. 1118 
desarte AC shalbe AC mee A. 1119 shal A tung C ones A 
the] this AC speech C. 1120 lyue A. 1121 toucht C. 1123 
Lyfe A knowe A mynde A. 1124 dreade A flesh AC. 1125 
gilt A guilte C yeelde C. 1126 graunte A vayne A wretehe 
A. 1128 harte A nowe A lyes AC. 1129 hande A. 1130 than 
ende A. 1131 whan A. 1132 gouernannce A. 1133 Brittayne 
lande A. 1134 trauaylled A trauailed C. 


Nor by my selfe, nor by no frend I wrought, 1135 

But from your highnesse will alone it sprong, 

Of your most gracious goodnesse bent to me. 

But how my brothers hart euen then repined 

With swollen disdaine against mine egall rule, 

[Fij]Seing that realm, which bydiscent should grow 1140 

"Wholly to him, allotted halfe to me! 

Euen in your highnesse court he now remaines, 

And with my brother then in nearest place, 

"Who can recorde what proofe thereof was shewde, 

And how my brothers enuious hart appearde. 1145 

"Yet I that iudged it my part to seeke 

His fauour and good will, and loth to make 

Tour highnesse know the thing which should 

haue brought 
Grief to your grace, and your offence to him, 
Hoping my earnest sute should soone haue wonne «&o 
A louing bart within a brothers brest, 
"Wrought in that sort that for a pledge of loue 
And faithful hart, he gaue to me his hand. 
This made me thinke, that he had banisht quite 

1. 1135 This line is a good example of the repetition of 
negatives for emphasis formerly so frequent, when the modern 
rule that "two negatives make an affirmative" was unknown. 

1142 He now remaines, i. e. there is slill the man in your 
highness' court, who was at that time in my brother's confidence, 
who can recall, etc. The "he" seems to refer to Dordan, who 
gave Ferrex loyal counsel in Act I, sc. 1. 

1144 recorde, B. 

1145 know, B. 

1152 Wrought in that sort, i. e. I wrought in such a way, 
that he gave me his hand. 

1135 nor] or AC freend C frende A. 1136 highnes AC. 
spronge A sprung C 1137 goodnes AC. 1138 howe A than 
A. 1140 realme AC discent AC growe C. 1141 Whollie A 
wholy C. 1142 highnes A Courte C nowe remaynes A 1143 
than C neerest C. 1144 therof AC. 1145 appeerde C. 1146 
parte AC. 1147 lothe A. 1148 highnes knowe A shuld A. 
1149 Greefe C. 1150 hopyng A my] by AC suite A shuld A. 
1151 louynge C. 1152 sorte AC pleadge A. 1153 faithfull 
AC hande A. 1154 think C banisshed AC. 

Engl. Sprach- und Literatnrdenkm. I. 5 


1155 All rancour from his thought and bare to me 
Such hartie loue, as I did owe to him. 
But after once we left your graces court, 
And from your highness presence liued apart, 
This egall rule still, still, did grudge him so 

lieo That now those enuious sparkes which erst lay raked 
In liuing cinders of dissembling brest, 
Kindled so farre within his hart disdaine, 
That longer could he not refraine from proofe 
Of secrete practise to depriue me life 

«65 By poysons force, and had bereft me so, 
If mine owne seruant hired to this fact 
And moued by trouth with hate to worke the same, 
In time had not bewrayed it vnto me. 
Whan thus I sawe the knot of loue vnknitte, 

lno All honest league and faithfull promise broke, 
The law of kinde and trouth thus rent in twaine, 
His hart on mischiefe set, and in his brest 
Blacke treason hid, then, then did I despeire 
That euer time could winne him frend to me. 

ii75 [v»] Then saw I how he smiled with slaying knife 
,,li- Wrapped vnder cloke, then saw I depe deceite 

1. 1160 That now — brest. These two lines refer to the 
custom, still in nightly use in some parts of the country, of cove- 
ring up a fire with ashes or cinders to keep it alive. The ashes 
are scraped or swept together for the purpose (AS. racan, to 
scrape), the whole process is called r king the fire. 

1164 Practice, see note to 1. 568. 

1168 Bewrayed, disclosed, divulged. Compare 'Lear', Act II, 
so. 1, "He did bewray his practice." 

1. 1156 Suche A harty C. 1158 highnes A highnesse C. 
aparte A. II 60 nowe A rakte C. 1161 lyuing C dissemblynge 
r<A. 1162 hartes A. 1164 secrete C me] my C. 1166 myne A 
seruaunt A- H67 trouthe A troth C woorke C. 1168 In ] If C. 
bewraied AC mee A. 11H9 When C vnknit C. 1171 Lawe AC 
kind A trothe A troth C. 117"2 mischeefe C. 1173 black C 
dispaier A dispaire C 1174 tyme coulde wynne A frende A 
freend C. 1175 Than sawe howe A smyled A. 1176 cloak C 
sawe A deepe C. 


Lurke in his face and death prepared for me : / 

Euen ni£fure>moued me than to holde my life I 

More deare to me than his, and bad this hand, I 

(Since by his life my death must nedes ensue, hbo 

And by his death my life to be preserued,) 

To shed his bloud, and seeke my safetie so. 

And wisedome willed me without protract 

In spedie wise to put the same in vre. 

Thus haue I tolde the cause that moued me in* 

To worke my brothers death; and so I yeld 

My life, my death, to iudgement of your grace. 

Oh cruel wight, should any cause preuaile 
To make thee staine thy hands with brothers bloud ? 
But what of thee we will resolue to doe, iwo 

Shall yet remaine vnknowen: Thou in the meane 
Shalt from our royall presence banisht be, 
Untill our princely pleasure furder shall 
To thee be shewed. Depart therefore our sight 
Accursed childe. [Exit Porrex] "What cruell destenie, 1193 
What froward fate hath sorted us this chaunce, 
That euen in those where we should comfort find, 
Where our delight now in our aged dayes 
S[h]ould rest and be, euen there our onely griefe 
And depest sorrowes to abridge our life, 1200 

Most pyning cares and deadly thoughts do grow! 

]. 1184 Vre. See note to 1. 201. 

1188 deaih and B. 

1195 No stage-direction in the original here. 

1. 1177 mee A. 1178 then C lyfe A. 1179 deere C then 
C hande A. 1180 lyfe A. 1181 lyfe A. 1183 wisdome AC 
protraote A. 1184 speedy C. 118H woork C yi-lde A yeelde C. 
1187 lvfe A. 1188 shuide A. 1189 thee ] the AC hundes C 
blod A blood C. 1190 doo C. 1191 Shal A 1192 banyshed 
A banisht C. 1194 the A rleparte thei-fore A. 1195 destiny? 
C. 1196 frowarde A. 1197 shuld A flnde C. 1198 nowe A 
daies AC. 1199 Shuide A onelie A only C greefe C. 1200 
deepest C liefe A. 1201 pynyng A pining C deadlie A doo C 
grow ] graue AC. 


Your grace should now in these graue yeres of 
\ yours, 

\ Haue found ere this the price of mortall ioyes; 

1 How short they be, how fadirjg here in earth, 

\ 1205 How full of chaunge, how brittle our estate, 
Of nothing sure, saue onely of the death, 
To whom both man and all the world doth owe 
Their end at last, neither should natures power 
[F iij] In other sort against your hart preuaile, 
1210 Than as the naked hand whose stroke assayes 
The armed brest where force doth light in vaine. 


Many can yelde right sage and graue aduise 
Of pacient sprite to others wrapped in woe, 
And can in speche both rule and conquere kinde, 
1215 "Who if by proofe they might feele natures force, 
Would shew them selues men as they are in dede, 
Which now wil nedes be gods. But what doth 

The sory chere of her that here doth come? 

1. 1213 Wrapped in ivoe. Compare the line 

''In wayling and weping in woo am I wapped" 

(York mysteries, the Weavers' Pageant, Ashburnham MS. fo. 231). 
For the connection in meaning between wrap and wap see 
H. Wedgwood's 'Etymological Dictionary' v. wrap, and 'Promp- 
torium ParYulorum', v. wappyn. 

1218 Sorry chere, sorrowful countenance or behaviour. 
"With dreadfull cheare", Sackville's 'Induction' ed. 1571 fo. 107 v°. 

1. 1202 shuld A yeeres C. 1203 founde A. 1204 howe 
A shorte AC howe fadyng A heare A heere C. 1205 Howe A 
change C howe A. 1206 nothynge A. 1207 whome AC worlde 
AC dooth C. 1208 ende A should ] shall AC. 1209 sorte AC 
harte A preuayle A. 1210 Then C hancle A assaies C 1211 
breast AC dooth C. 1212 yeelde C graue and sage AC aduice 
C. 1214 speache A speech C. 1216 Wold shewe A thei A in- 
deede C 1217 needes C dooth C. 1218 sorry cheere that heere 
doath come C. 


[Enter] Marcella. 
Oh where is ruth? or where is pitie now? 
Whither is gentle hart and mercy fled? 1220 

Are they exiled out of our stony brestes, 
Neuer to make returne? is all the world 
Drowned in bloud, and soncke in crueltie? 
If not in women mercy may be found, 
If not (alas) within the mothers brest, 1225 

To her owne childe, to her owne fleshe and bloud, 
If ruthe be banished thence, if pitie there 
May haue no place, if there no gentle hart 
Do Hue and dwell, where should we seeke it then? I 

Madame (alas) what meanes your woful tale? 1230 

sillie woman I, why to this houre 
Haue kinde and fortune thus deferred my breath, 
That I should liue to see this dolefull day? 
"Will euer wight beleue that such hard hart 
Could rest within the cruell mothers brest, 1235 

With her owne hand to slay her onely sonne? 
But out (alas) ! these eyes behelde the same, 
They saw the driery sight, and are become 
Most ruthfull recordes of the bloudy fact. 

]. 1220 whether B. 
1231 Silly, simple, weak. 

1237 (alas) these B. Compare out, as interjeotion, in 
Shakespeare's Sonnet 33, and in old Miracle Plays. 

1. 1219 ruthe AC pytje A pittie C. 1220 "Whether AC 
harte A mcrcie A. 1221 breasts A breastes C. 1222 retourne 
A worlde AC. 1223 bloode A suncke C. 1224 mercie maye A 
founde A. 1225 brest A 1226 childe A flesshe A flesh C blood A. 
1227 banisshed A pytie A pittie C. 1228 maye A hiirte A. 1229 
lyue A shuld A than A. 1230 Madam C wofi.ll C. 1231 
silly C howre AC. 1232 kind C breathe A. 1233 shuld lyue 
A daye AC. 1234 beleeue C such harde harte A 1235 coulde 
A breaste A breast C. 1236 hande A slaye AC. 1238 sawe C. 
1239 ruthefull C bloudie facte A. 


1240 Porrex (alas) is by his mother slaine, 

And with her hand, a wofull thing to tell, 

[v°] While slumbring on his carefull bed he restes 

His hart stabde in with knife is reft of life. 


Eubulus, oh draw this sword of ours, 
1245 And pearce this hart with speed. hatefull light, 
O lothsome life, sweete and welcome death. 
Deare Eubulus, worke this we thee besech. 


Pacient your grace, perhappes he liueth yet, 
With wound receaued, but not of certaine death. 


1250 let us then repayre vnto the place, 
And see if Porrex liue, or thus be slaine. 


Alas, he liueth not, it is to true, 
That with these eyes of him a perelesse prince, 
Sonne to a king, and in the flower of youth, 
1265 Euen with a twinke a senselesse stocke I saw. 
[Exeunt Gorboduc and Eubulus.]* 

I. 1242 Carefull bed, i. e. bed of cares. 

1244 — 47. These weak exclamations of the miserable king 
recall the ranting ejaculatory speech of Pyramus, in which 
Shakespeare ridicules the common plays. Midsummer Night's 
Dream, Act V, sc. 1, 1. 171. 

1. 1240 slayne A. 1241 thynge A. 1242 slomberinge A. 
1243 stabde | stalde AC kniefe A. 1244 drawe A sworde A 
swoord C. 1245 perce A pierce C speede C. 1246 loathsome 
C liefe A. 1247 Dere A deero C woorke C beseche A beseeche 
C. 1248 Patient AC perhaps C. 1249 wounde receued A re- 
ceiued C certayne A. 1250 than repaier A repairo C. 1251 
if that Porrex AC liue omitted AC. 1252 too C. 1253 eiea A 
peereles C. 1255 censeles A senceles stock C. 

* The original does not give this stage direction. Mr. 
Sackville-West makes Gorboduc and Eubulus go out after 



damned deede. 


But heare hys ruthefull end. 
The noble prince, pearst with the sodeine wound, 
Out of his wretched slumber hastely start, 
Whose strength now fayling, straight he ouerthrew, 
"When in the fall his eyes euen new vnclosed 1260 
Behelde the Queene, and cryed to her for helpe. 
We then, alas, the ladies which that time 
Did there attend, seing that heynous deede, 
And hearing him oft call the wretched name 
Of mother, and to crye to her for aide, 1266 

Whose direfull hand gaue him the mortall wound, 
Pitying, alas, (for nought els could we do) 
His ruthefull end, ranne to the wofull bedde, 
Dispoyled straight his brest, and all we might 
Wiped in vaine with napkins next at hand, 1270 

The sodeine streames of bloud that flushed fast 
Out of the gaping wound. what a looke, 
[f ijfj] what a ruthefull stedfast eye me thought 
He fixt vpon my face, which to my death 

1. 1250, but it seems to me that he was meant to hear the reply 
of Marcella Mr W. G. Stone would place it next after 1. 1279. 

1258 start, past tense of 'start'. 

1259 Overthrew, intransitive, i. e. fell over, fayling B. 
12H7 Pitying (alas) for B. 

1269 Dispoil, to undress. 

1. 1256 dampned A his ] this AC ende A. 1257 perst A 
pierst C sodaine wounds C wonnde A. 1258 slombre A hastelie 
A hastilie C starte A. 1259 failyng A failing C atreight AC. 
1260 newe A now C. 1261 Beheld C quene A. 1262 whiche A 
tyme A. 1263 attende A seynge A seeing heinous C 1265 
crie AC. 1266 mortal A. 1267 Pitieng AC doo C. 1268 rufull 
C ende AC bed C. 1269 streight AC. 1270 Wyped A nap- 
kyns A bande AC. 1271 sodaine C blood A flusshed A. 1272 
wounde A- 1274 fixed AC whiche A deathe A. 


i2?& "Will neuer part fro me, when with a braide 
A deepe fet sigh he gaue, and therewithall 
Clasping his handes, to heauen he cast his sight. 
And straight pale death pressing within his face 
The flying ghost his mortall corpes forsooke. 

1280 Neuer did age bring forth so vile a fact. 


hard and cruell happe, that thus assigned 
Unto so worthy a wight so wretched end: 
But most hard cruell hart, that could consent 
To lend the hatefull destenies that hand, 

1285 By which, alas, so heynous crime was wrought. 
Queene of adamant, marble brest. 
If not the fauour of his comely face, 
If not his princely chere and countenance, 
His valiant actiue armes, his manly brest, 

law If not his faire and seemely personage, 
His noble limmes in such proportion cast 

1. 1275 With a braide, a start or sudden movement. 
"The woman being afraid, gave a braid with 
her head, and ran her way". 

'Scoggins Jests', (first published 1565 — 6) quoted in Halliwell's 

1276 Fet, past participle from Mid. Eug. feechen, to fetch. 

1292 There seems a confusion here between wrap and 
rap; rapt, i. e. struck, transported, is the word intended. "More 
dances my rapt heart", Coriolanus, IV, so. 5, I. 122. 

1. 1275 parte AC from C. 1276 eighe A. 1277 Claspinge 
A. 1278 streight AC pressyng A. 1279 flyinge ghoste A corps 
AC. 12«0 foorth C facte AC. 1281 harde A hap C. 1282 
worthie AC. wighte A ende AC. 1283 harde A harte A 
coulde A. 1284 lende A hande AC. 1285 whiche A cryme A. 
1286 Adamante A breaste A. 1287 comelie A. 1288 Princelie 
A cheare C countenaunce A. 1289 valiauut C breaste A- 1290 
faier A semelie A. 1291 Lymmes A suche preparacion caste A. 


As would have wrapt a sillie womans thought; 
If this mought not haue moued thy bloudy hart, 
And that most cruell hand the wretched weapon 
Euen to let fall, and kiste him in the face, 1295 

With teares for ruthe to reaue such one by death : 
Should nature yet consent to slay her sonne? 
mother, thou to murder thus thy childe! 
Even Jove with iustice must with lightning flames 
From heauen send downe some strange reuenge isoo 

on thee. 
Ah noble prince, how oft haue I behelde 
Thee mounted on thy fierce and traumpling stede, 
Shining in armour bright before the tilt, 
And with thy mistresse sleue tied on thy helme, 
And charge thy staffe to please thy ladies eye, 1306 
That bowed the head peece of thy frendly foe! 
[vo] How oft in armes on horse to bend the mace ! 
How oft in armes on foote to breake the sworde, 
"Which neuer now these eyes may see againe. 

Madame, alas, in vaine these plaints are shed, 1310 
Rather with me depart, and helpe to swage 
The thoughtfull griefes that in the aged king 
Must needes by nature growe, by death of this 
His onely sonne, whom he did holde so deare. 

1. 1293 hart. B. 
1300 Fro B. 

1311 swage, B. 

1312 See note to 1. 1116. 

1. 1292 wrapped AC silly C 1293 might C mooued C 
the AC bloodie AC harte A. 1294 hande A. 1295 kist C. 
1296 ruth C suche A- 1297 slaye A. 1298 thie A. 1299 
lightening A. 1300 down C straunge C. 1301 beheld AC. 
1302 trampling steede C 1303 Shyning A Tylte A Tilte C. 
1304 mistrisse sleeue C sleaue A. 1305 eie A. 1307 Howe A 
bende A. 1308 Howe A foot C. 1309 Whiehe nowe A. 1311 
departe A swage ] asswage AC. 1312 kings A. 1313 nedes A. 
1314 onelie A whome A. 



1315 "What wight is that which saw that I did see, 
And could refraine to waile with plaint and teares? 
Not I, alas, that hart is not in me. 
But let vs go.e, for I am greued anew, 
To call to minde the wretched fathers woe. 


1320 "Whan greedy lust in royall seate to reigne 

Hath reft all care of Goddes and eke of men, 
And cruell hart, wrath, treason, and disdaine 

Within ambicious brest are lodged, then 
Beholde how mischiefe wide her selfe displayes, 
1325 And with the brothers hand the brother slayes. 

When bloud thus shed, doth staine the heauens 
face, , 
Crying to Joue for vengeance of the deede, 
The mightie God euen moueth from his place, 
With wrath to wreke: then sendes he forth 
with spede 
1330 The dreadfull furies, daughters of the night, 

"With Serpentes girt, carying the whip of ire, 
With heare of stinging Snakes, and shining bright 
With flames and bloud, and with a brand of fire. 
These for reuenge of wretched murder done, 
1335 Do make the mother kill her onely sonne. 

1. 1315 whiche A sawe that AC. 1316 plainte A. 1317 
harte A. 1318 go C greeued C anewe AC. 1320 When greedie 
C gredie A. 1321 Gods C. 1222 wrathe A. 1323 Within the 
AC ambitious C breast A 1324 Behold C howe A displaies A. 
1325 hande A slaiea A. 132(> blood A dooth C the ] this AC. 
1327 vengeamice A. 1329 wrathe A foorth C speede C. 1331 
serpents A carryng C. 1332 haire C. 1333 blood A brande A. 
1335 Do make ) Dooth cause C onelie A. 



' Blood asketh blood, and death must death requite. 
Ioue by his iust and euerlasting dome 
Justly hath euer so requited it. 
[G j] The times before recorde, and times to come 
Shall finde it true, and so doth present proofe i3w 
Present before our eyes for our behoofe. 

happy wight that suffres not the snare 
Of murderous minde to tangle him in blood. 

And happy he that can in time beware 

By others harmes, and turne it to his good. w* 5 

But wo to him that fearing not to offend 

Doth serue his lust, and will not see the end. 


1. 1345 harmes and B. 

1. 1336 Bloud C. 1337 doome C. 1339 The ] These AC 
record C tynies A. 1340 find C dooth C. 1341 eies AC. 1342 
happie AC suffers C. 1343 mind C bloode A. 1344 happie AC. 
AC. 1345 tourne A goode A. 1346 -woe C offende A. 1347 
Dooth C ende A. 



First the drommes and fluites began to sound, du- 
ring which there came forth vpon the stage a 

5 company of Hargabusiers , and of Armed men 

all in order of battaile. These after their peeces 
discharged , and that the armed men had three 
times marched about the stage, departed, and 
then the drommes and fluits did cease. Hereby 

10 was signified tumults, rebellions, armes and ciudl 
warres to follow, as fell in the realme of great 
Brittayne, which by the space of fiftie yeares and 
more continued in ciuill warre betwene the nobi- 
litie after the death of king Gorboduc, and of 

is his issues, for want of certayne limit acion in 
[the] succession of the crowne, till the time of 
Dunwallo Mullmutius, who reduced the land to 

1. 1 fluites, B. 

]. 2 dumbe C shewe AC fifth A fift C Aote AC. 3 Drum- 
mes C beganne A sounde AC durynge A. 4 whiche A foorth C 
vppon G. 5 oompanie C Harquebushers C. 8 tymes A aboute 
A. 9 Drummea C Fluites C Heereby C. 10 Tumultes C ciuyll 
A. 11 folowe A followe C fel A. 13 ciuyll A betweene C 
nobylytie A. 14 wante A certaine C. 16 the in AC. 17 
Iande A monarchie A. 




Did euer age bring forth such tirants harts? 
The brother hath bereft the brothers life, 
The mother she hath ^ied her cruell handes 
In bloud of her owne 1 sonne, and now at last 
The people loe forgetting trouth and loue, 
[Rj vo] Contemning quite both law and loyall hart, 
Euen they haue slaine their soueraigne lord and 

Shall this their traitorous crime vnpunished rest? «65 
Euen yet they cease not, caryed on with rage, 
In their rebellious routes, to threaten still 
A new bloud shed ynto the princes kinne, 
To slay them all, and to vproote the race 
Both of the king and queene, so are they moued 1360 
With Porrex' death, wherin they falsely charge , 
The gjlt lesse ki ng, without desert at all, 
And traitorously haue~murdered him therfore, ' 
And eke the queene. 

Shall subjectes dare with force 
To worke reuenge vpon their princes fact? 1366 

1. 1365 Fact, action. 

1. 1348 foorth tyrants C hartes A. 1349 lyfe A. 1350 
dyde C hands C. 1351 nowe A. 1352 forgethyng trouthe A 
truth C. 1353 Contemnynge A Lawe AC harte A. 1354 slayne 
A souereigne C Quene A. 13f>5 trayterous A traitevous C. 1356 
carried C on ] out AC. 1357 stil A. 1358 newe bloode A 
shedde AC. 1359 slaie A slaye C. 1360 kyng A- 1361 deathe. 
1362 giltles A guiltelesse C desarte A desart C. 1363 traiterous- 
lie A traiterously C. 1365 woorke C facte A, 


Admit the worst that may, as sure in this 
The deede was fowle, the queene to slay her 

Shall yet the subiect seeke to take the sworde, 
Arise agaynst his lord, and slay his king? 
1370 wretched state, where those rebellious hartes 
Are not rent out euen from their liuing breastes, 
And with the body throwen Ynto the foules 
As carrion foode, for terrour of the rest. 


There can no punishment be thought to great 
1375 For this so greuous cryme: let spede therfore 
Be vsed therin, for it behoueth so. 


Te all my lordes, I see, consent in one 

And I as one consent with ye in all. 

I holde it more than neede with sharpest law 

i38o To punish this tumultuous bloudy rage. 

For nothing more may shake the common state, 
Than sufferance of vproares without redresse, 
Wherby how some kingdomes of mightie power, 
After great conquestes made, and florishing 

1385 [G ij] In fame and wealth, have ben to ruine brought, 
I pray to Ioue, that we may rather wayle 
Such happe in them than witnesse in our selues. 
Eke fully with the duke my minde agrees, 

1. 1366 Admyt A woorst C maye A. 1367 deede A foule 
C Quene A slaie A slaye C. 1368 subiecte A swoord C. 1369 
Lorde A slaie A slaye C kynge A. 1371 lyuynge A breasts A. 
1372 bodie A fowles AC. 1374 punisshement A too C greate A. 
1375 greeuous crime C speede C. 1379 nede A witb the AC 
Lawe AC. 1380 punisshe A punishe C this ] the AC bloodie A 
bloody C. 1381 nothynge A maye A commen A. 1382 then 
C sufferaunce A. 1383 mighty C. 1384 Conquests C floori- 
shing A flourishing C. 1385 beene C ruyne A. 1386 praie A 
waile A. 1387 suche A hap C then C witnes AC. 1388 fullie A. 


That no cause serues, wherby the Subiect maye 

Call to accompt the doynges of his Prince, 1390 

Muche lesse in bloode by sworde to worke reuenge, 

No more then maye the hande cut of the heade, 

In Acte nor speache, no : not in secrete thoughte 

The Subiect maye rebell against his Lorde, 

Or Judge of him that sittes in Caesars Seate, 1395 

With grudging mind to damne those he mislikes. 

Th ough kinges forget to gouerne as they o ught, 

j^jiubiect es must obe y as they are,.bounde. 

But now my lordes, before ye farder wade, 

Or spend your speach, what sharpe reuenge shall fall «oo 

By iustice plague on these rebellious wightes, 

Me thinkes ye rather should first search the way, 

By which in time the rage of this vproare 

Mought be repressed, and these great tumults ceased. 

Euen yet the life of Brittayne land doth hang m<® 

In traitours balaunce of vnegall weight. 

Thinke not my lordes the death of Gorboduc, 

Nor yet Videnaes bloud will cease their rage : 

Euen our owne lyues, our wiues, and children deare, 

Our countrey dearest of all, in daunger standes, hio 

Now to be spoiled, now, now, made desolate, 

Lines 1389—1396 are not in B (ed. of 1570), they are 
supplied in the text from A (ed. 1565) and collations are given 
with C (ed. 1590) in -which they are also found. 

1. 1396 With grudging mind, with grumbling, or murmuring. 

1399 Wade, to go, to make way, A. S. wadan. "Vertue 
gives herself light though darkness for to wade". Spenser's 
Pairie Queen, I, 1, V2. 

1. 1389 may C. 1390 account dooinges C. 1391 Much 
blood swoord woorke C. 1392 may hand head C. 1393 speech 
secret thought C. 1394 may Lord C. 1H95 sits C. 1396 
minde C to ] do A doo C Hemislikes AC. 1398 subiccts AC bound 
C. 1399 nowe A. 1400 speech C sharp A shal fal A 1401 
wights AC. 1402 searche AC waye A. 1403 whiche A. 1405 
Brittaine C lande A dooth hange A. 1406 Ballaunce C vne- 
quall C 1407 Think C lords C. 1408 bloode A blood C. 1409 
deare omitted AC. 1410 Cuntry C deerest C. 1411 nowe A 
spoyled C. 


And by our selues a conquest to ensue. 
For geue once swey vnto the peoples lustes, 
To rush forth on, and stay them not in time, 

1415 And as the streame that rowleth downe the hyll, 
So will they headlong ronne with raging thoughtes 
Prom bloud to bloud, from mischiefe vnto moe, 

1 To ruine of the realm, them selues, and all; 

I So giddy are the common peoples mindes, 

1420 go glad of chaunge, more wauering than the sea. 
Ye see (my lordes) what strength these rebelles haue 
What hugie nombre is assembled still, 
For though the traiterous fact, for which they rose 
Be wrought and done, yet lodge they still in field; 

M25 So that how farre their furies yet will stretch 
Great cause we haue to dreade. That we may seeke 
By present battaile to represse their power, 
[vo] Speede must we vse to leuie force therfore. 
For either they forthwith will mischiefe worke, 

U30 Or their rebellious roares forthwith will cease. 
These violent thinges may haue no lasting long. 
Let us therfore vse this for present helpe, 
\ Perswade by gentle speach, and offre grace 
With gift of pardon, saue vnto the chiefe, 

U35 And that vpon eondicion that forthwith 

They yelde the captaines of their enterprise, 
To beare such guerdon of their traiterous fact, 

1. 1412 To, too, also ; we shall also bo conquered. 

1418 all, B. 

1424 field B. 

1437 Guerdon, reward, recompense. 

1. 1412 too AC. 1413 giue C ones A sweye AC lusts A. 
1414 russhe A foorth C staye AC 1415 hill C. 1416 wil AC 
thei A run C. 1417 bloode A mischeefe C. 1418 ruyne A. 
1419 giddie AC. 1420 change C waueryng A. 1421 rebelles 
C. 1422 number C 1423 traiterous AC thei A 1424 doone 
feelde C. 1425 howe A wyll A stretche A. 1426 dreade, that 
AC. 1428 mischeefe C woorke C. 1431 londe AC. 1433 
speeche A speech C offer C. 1434 gifte AC cheefe C. 1435 
forthewith AC. 1436 yeelde C enterpryse AC. 1437 suohe A 
querdon A traiterous AC facte A. 


As may be both due vengeance to them selues, 

And holsome terrour to posteritie. 

This shall, I thinke, scatter the greatest part i«o 

That now are holden with desire of home, 

Weried in field with cold of winters nightes, 

And some (no doubt), striken with dread o£.law.<T 

"Whan this Ts" once proclamed, it shall make 

The captaines to mistrust the multitude, U46 

Whose safetie biddes them to betray their heads, 

And so much more byeause the rascall routes, 

In thinges of great and perillous attemptes, 

Are neuer trustie to the noble race. 

And while we treate and stand on termes of grace, 1450 

"We shall both stay their furies rage the while, 

And eke gaine time, whose onely helpe sufficeth 

Withouten warre to vanquish rebelles power. 

In the meane while, make you in redynes 

Such band of horsemen as ye may prepare. uss < 

Horsemen (you know) are not the commons strength, 

But are the force and store of noble men, 

"Wherby the vnchosen and vnarmed sort 

Of skillesse rebelles, whome none other power 

But nombre makes to be of dreadfull force, 1460 

With sodeyne brunt may quickely be opprest. 

And if this gentle meane of proffered grace, 

[o i'j] With stubborne hartes cannot so farre auayle, 

1. 1453 power B. 

1. 1438 Tengeaunce A. 1439 holesome C. 1440 think C 
scatter ] flatter AC parte AC. 1441 nowe A. 1442 Wearied C 
feelde C could A colde C. 1443 Lawe AC 1444 When C 
ones A proclaymid A proclaimed C 1445 mistruste A. 1446 
bids C betraye AC. 1447 muche A because C. 1450 treat C 
tearnies C. 14f>l shal A staie A. 1452 only C suffiseth C. 
14f>3 vanquisshe A vanquishe C rebells C. 1454 readines A. 
1455 Suche bande A maye A. 1456 comons AC. 145M sorte 
AC. 1459 skillishe A skillish C Rebelles AC. 1460 number C. 
1461 soddeine AC maye A quickly C oppreste A. 1463 auaile C. 
£ngl, Sprach- und Literaturdenkm. I. 6 


As to asswage their desperate courages, 
H65 Then do I wish such slaughter to be made, 
As present age and eke posteritie 
May be adrad with horrour of reuenge, 
That iustly then shall on these rebelles fall. 
This is my lords the sum of mine aduise. 


lire Neither this case admittes debate at large, 

And though it did, this speach that hath ben sayd 
Hath well abridged the tale I would haue tolde. 
Fully with Eubulus do I consent 
In all that he hath sayd: and if the same 

1475 To you my lordes, may seeme for best advice, 
I wish that it should streight be put in vre. 


My lordes than let vs presently depart, 

And follow this that liketh vs so well. ^ .+- 

fergus, solus. £xeun 

If euer time to gaine a kingdorue here 
1480 "Were offred man, now it is offred mee. 

The realme is reft both of their king and queene, 
The ofspring of the prince is slaine and dead, 
No issue now remaines, the heire vnknowen, 
The people are in armes and mutynies, 

1. 1464 courages B. 
1467 Adrad, afraid. 
1469 lord B. 

1. 1465 Than A doo C wisshe suche A. 1467 niaye A. 
1468 than A. 1469 Lordes AC somme A summe C. 1470 
neyther A. 1471 speache A speeehe C beene A Baide A sayde 
0. 1472 wel A. 1473 Fullie A doo C consente A. 1474 saide 
AC. 1475 aduisse C 1476 wisshe A shoulde A straight C. 
1477 Lordes A Lords then C departe AC. 1478 folowe A lyketh 
A. 1479 Heere C. 1480 nowe A. 1481 botho A kyng Quene 
A. _ 1482 ofspringe A. 14b3 nowe A vnknowne C. 1484 mu- 
tinies C. 


The nobles they are busied how to cease 1435 

These great rebellious tumultes and vproares, 
And Brittayne land, now desert left alone / 

Amyd these broyles vncertayne where to rest, 
Offers her selfe vnto that noble hart 
That will or dare pursue to beare her crowne. hw j 
Shall I that am the Duke of Albanye, 
Discended from that line of noble bloud, 
Which hath so long florished in worthy fame, 
Of valiaunt hartes, such as in noble brestes 
Of right should rest aboue the baser sort, 1495 

[vo] Refuse to venture life to winne a crowne ? 
Whom shall I finde emnies that will withstand 
My fact herein, if I attempt by armes 
To seeke the same now in these times of broyle? 
These dukes power can hardly well appease 1=00 

The people that already are in armes. 
But if perhappes, my force be once in field, 
Is not my strength in power aboue the best 
Of all these lordes now left in Brittayne land? 
And though they should match me with power of 1505 

1. 1491 The Duke of Albany. Read in the light of the old 
story -which passed as history, there was strong reason in this 
play for making Fergus , the Duke of Albany, attempt to gain 
the throne. His "line of noble blood" was descended from Alba- 
nact, one of Brute's three sons, whose portion of Britain was 
Albania, or Scotland (Geoffry of Momnomh, Book II, c. 1.). 

1505 me B. 

1- 1485 thei howe A. 1486 vproars A 1487 Brittaine 
C Lande nowe A deserte AC. 14S8 Amid C vnoertaine AC. 
1489 harte A. 1490 wyll A. 1492 Lyne A bloode A. 1493 
'Whiche A longe A floorisshed A flourished C worthie A woorfhy 
C. 1494 valiaunt C suohe A breasts AC. 1495 shulde A sorte 
AC. 1496 venture ] adventure AC liefe A. 1497 Whome A 
enemies AC withstande A. 1498 facte A heerin C attempte A. 
1499 same ] Fame AC nowe A. 1500 hardlie A. 1501 alredie 
A. 1502 perhaps C ones A fielde A. 1504 lords C nowe A 
Britaine C Brittaine Lande A. 1505 sliuld A. 



Yet doubtfull is the chairace of battailles ioyned. 
If victors of the field we may depart, 
Ours is the scepter then of great Brittayne; 
If slayne amid the playne this body lye, 

iisio Mine enemies yet shall not deny me this, 
But that I dyed geuing the noble charge 
To hazarde life for conquest of a crowne. 
Forthwith therefore will I in post depart 
To Albanye, and raise in armour there 

i'jis All power I can: and here my secret friendes, 
By secret practise shall sollicite still, 
To seeke to wynne to me the peoples hartes. 


]. 1508 Great Brittayne. If we may take these words to- 
gether, this usi> of the term in 1561 — forty three yeares before 
the proclamation by James I (who first united the sovereignty of 
the two kingdoms in one person) ordering that the names of 
England and Scotland should be merged in that of Great Bri- 
tain, 20 Oct. 1604, — Rhows that the idea of the union and the 
name had been familiar for many years; perhaps since the 
marriage of Henry VII's daughter Margaret to king James of 
Scotland in 1503 In the Act 1 James I c. 2 (1604) appointing 
Commissioners to consider of the Union, the name Great Britain 
is not mentioned, but Bacon, then Solicitor General, uses it in 
a famous argument spoken in 1608. (Lord Bacon's "Works, Vol. 
"VII, edited by Spedding and Heath, p. 641.) The Act of Union was 
not finally passed till 170ti (6 Anne c. 11) in which the two 
kingdoms were joined by the name of Great Britain 

Spencer in the Fairie Qneene (published 1590) Bk. Ill, 
o. 11, 7, speaks of "the Greater Britaine", probably in distinction 
from ihe "little Brytayne" of Arthurian romance. 

1. 1513 In post, i. e. in haste, as though going with post- 
horses, the swiftest means of conveyance. 

1516 See Note to 1. 508. 

1. 1507 fielde A departe A. 1508 than A Brittayne A 
Britaine C. 1509 slaine plaine C bodie C lye ] be AC. ' 1510 
denie C. 1511 died AC gyuynge A giuing C. 1512 hazard C. 
1513 therfore A poste A. 1515 secrete AC frends C. 1516 
secrete AC. 1517 winne C hartes A. 



EUBULUS [solus]. * 

Ioue, how are these peoples harts abusde! 
"What blind fury, thus headlong caries them? 
That though so many hookes, so many rolle3, isao | 
Of auncient time recorde what greuous plagues 
Light on these rebelles aye, and though so oft 
Their eares haue heard their aged fathers tell, 
[g iiij] What iuste reward these traitours still receyue 
Yea though them selues haue sene depe death 1525 

and bloud, 
By strangling cord, and slaughter of the sword, 
To such assigned, yet can they not beware, 
Yet can not stay their lewde rebellious handes, 
But suffring too fowle treason to distaine 
Their wretched myndes, forget their loyall hart, 1530 
Beiect all truth, and rise against their prince. 
A ruthefull case, that those, whom duties bond, 
"Whom graftedJUiw__by_ nature, truth, and faith, 
Bound to preserue their countrey~anoT~their king, 
Borne to defend their common wealth and prince, i»36 

* Eubulus solus ] In the original (all editions, A, B, C) 
the six names all stand here, Eubulus, Clotyn, Mandud. Gwenard, 
Arostus. Nunfius. 

1. 1518 Abusde, deceived. 

1520 rolles B. 

1521 recorde, B. 

1. 1518 howe hartes A. 1519 furie AC carries C. 1520 
bokes A. 1521 time of reoord C greenons C. 1522 rebelles C 
thoughe ofte A, 1523 hard A. 1524 iuste AC rewarde A 
reoeiue C. 1525 seene deepe C blod A. 1527 assignde C, 
1528 Yet can they not staie their rebellious handes A: C has 
the same, but stay, hands. 15*29 suffering too C to A loe B. 
1530 minds C harte A. 1531 reiecte A trueth A. 1532 
whome A bounde A bound C. 1533 whome A lawe AC trueth 
A. 1534 Bounde A country C. 1535 defende A welth C. 


Euen they should geue consent thus to subuert 
J Thee Brittaine land, and from thy wombe should 
j spring 

(0 native soile) those, that will needs destroy 
And ruyne thee, and eke them selues in fine. 

io4o For lo, when once the dukes had offred grace 
Of pardon sweete, the multitude missledde 
By traitorous fraude of their vngracious heades, 
One sort that saw the dangerous successe 
Of stubborne standing in rebellious warre, 

1545 And knew the difference of princes power 
From headlesse nombre of tumultuous routes, 
Whom common countreies care, and priuate feare, 
Taught to repent the errour of their rage, 
Layde handes vpon the captaines of their band, 

1550 And brought them bound vnto the mightie dukes. 
And other sort not trusting yet so well 
The truth of pardon, or mistrusting more 
Their owne offence than that they could conceiue 
Such hope of pardon for so foule misdede, 

1565 Or for that they their captaines could not yeld, 
Who fearing to be yelded fled before, 
Stale home by silence of the secret night, 

]. 1539 hi fine, in the end at last. 

1543 Successe, consequence. 

1547 Common countries care, i. e. thought for their com- 
mon country. The same old use of the possessive, now oniy 
applied with persons, is in 11. 876. 877. 

1557 night, B. 

1. 1536 shulde A giue C subuerte A. 1537 The AC Bri- 
taine C thy J the AC shuld A spring] bring AC. 1538 natyuo A 
nedes A needes C destroye A. 1639 mine C. 1540 ones A 
Duke AC offered C. 1541 sweet. C (the AC mislead A misled 
C. 1542 traiterous AC fraud C vngratious heads) C heades ) A. 
1543 sorte A sawe AC daungerous A. 1544 standynge A. 
1545 knewe A. 1546 headles AC number C. 1547 countries 
C. 1548 errour | terrour AC. 1549 Laid hands C laide A 
Capatines A bande A. 1551 And other] an other A Another 
C sorte A. 1552 trueth A. 1553 then C thei A could ] should 
C. 1554 Suche A fowle misdeede C. 1555 yeeld C. 1556 
fearinge A yeelded C fled A. 1557 Stale C scilence A secrete AC. 


The thirde, vnhappy and enraged sort 
[v»] Of desperate hartes, who stained in princes bloud, 
From trayterous furour could not be withdrawen iseo 
By loue, by law, by grace, ne yet by feare, 
By proffered life, ne yet by threatned death, 
With mindes hopelesse of life, dreadlesse of death, 
Carelesse of countrey, and awelesse of God, 
Stoode bent to fight as furies did them moue, 1665 
With violent death to close their traiterous life. 
These all by power of horsemen were opprest, 
And with reuenging sworde slayne in the field, 
Or with the strangling cord hangd on the tree, 
Where yet their can-yen carcases do preach 1570 

The fruites that rebelles reape of their vproares, 
And of the murder of their sacred prince. 
But loe, where do approche the noble dukes, 
By whom these tumults haue ben thus appeasde, 

[Enter Clotyn, Mandud, Gwenard and Arostus.] 


I thinke the world will now at length beware 1575 
And feare to put on armes agaynst their prince. 


If not? those trayterous hartes that dare rebell, 
Let them beholde the wide and hugie fieldes 
With bloud and bodies spread of rebelles slayne, 

1. 1558 vnhappie AC vnraged AC. 1559 harts staind C 
blood A 1560 traiterous C withdrawne C. 1561 lawe AC. 
1562 lyfe A threatened A. 1563 minds A hopeles A liefe A 
dreadies A. 1564 carples AC couiitrv C aweles AC. 1565 
stoode C bente A fighte A. 1566 valiant C lyfe A. 1568 
sword C slaine C. 1569 hanged A trees AC. 1570 their] the 
AC carryen A carrien C doo C preach ] proche AC 1571 fruits 
C rebels C vproars AC. 1573 doo approch C. 1574 beene C. 
1575 worldo A wyll A. 1576 agaynst C. 1577 traiterous harts 
C dare] doo C. 1578 behold C fields A. 1579 bloode A bodie 
AC spred C of J with AC rebels slaine C. 


1580 The lofty trees clothed with the corpses dead 
That strangled with the corde do hang theron. 


A iust rewarde, such as all times before 
Haue ever lotted to those wretched folkes. 


But what meanes he that commeth here so fast? 

[Enter] Nunuius. 

1585 My lordes, as dutie and my trouth doth moue, 
And of my countrey worke a care in mee, 
That if the spending of my breath auailed 
To do the seruice that my hart desires, 
I would not shunne to imbraee a present death : 

1590 So haue I now in that wherein I thought 

[h j] My trauayle mought performe some good effect, 
Ventred my life to bring these tydinges here. 
Fergus the mightie duke of Albanye 
Is now in armes and lodgeth in the fielde 

1695 With twentie thousand men, hether he bendes 
His spedy marche, and mindes to inuade the 

Dayly he gathereth strength, and spreads abrode 
That to this realme no certeine heire remaines, 
That Brittayne land is left without a guide, 

i6oo That he the scepter seekes, for nothing els 

I. 1596 mindes, intends, "has a mind to" 

1. 1580 lofty ] lustie AC the omitted AC. 1581 cord doo 
C hange therin A therein C 1582 reward C suche A tymes A. 
1585 lords AC troth C mooue C. 1586 Country C a] and AC. 
1587 spendynge A auaile A. 15*8 doo C harte A. 1589 shun 
C. 1590 nowe A. 1591 trauaile C perfourme AC effeote A. 
1592 liefe A bringe A tidings C heere C. 1594 nowe A field 
C. 15H5 hither C bends A. 1596 spedie A speedie march C 
minds C. 1597 Daily C abroad C. 1598 oertaine C. 1599 
Britaine C Lande A guyde A. 


But to preserue the people and the land, 
Which now remaine as ship without a sterne. 
Loe this is that which I haue here to say. 


Is this his fayth? and shall he falsely thus 

Abuse the yauntage of vnhappie times? leos ,' 

wretched land, if his outragious pride, 

His cruell and vntempred wilfulnesse, 

His deepe dissembling shewes of false pretence, 

Should once attaine the crowne of Brittaine land. 

Let vs, my lordes, with timely force resist 1610 

The new attempt of this our common foe, 

As we would quench the flames of common fire. 


Though we remaine without a certain prince, 

To weld the realme or guide the wandring rule, 

Yet now the common mother of vs all, isi& i 

Our natiue land, our countrey, that conteines 

Our wiues , children , kindred , our selues and all 

That euer is or may be deare to man, 

Cries vnto vs to helpe our selues and her. 

Let us aduaunce our powers to represse 1620 

This growing foe of all our liberties. 


Yea let vs so, my lordes, with hasty speede. 
And ye (0 Goddes) send vs the welcome death, 
;v»] To shed our bloud in field, and leaue us not 

I. 1601 Lande A. 1602 Whiolio A ehippe C. 1603 
whiche A hereto AC saido A said C. 1604 faith C falsly C. 
1606 Lande A. 1607 wilfulnes AC. 160« dissemblinge A. 1609 
Brittayn A Britaine C. 1610 Lorda AC rymely A. 1611 newe 
A. 1612 quenche A. 1613 cerraine C cerfcayn A. 1614 weeld 
C. 1615 nowe A comeii A. 1616 lande AC country C containes 
A 1617 kyndred A. 1618 maye A. 1621 growynge A. 1622 
Lords C haatie A spede A. 1623 Gods C sende AC. 1624 
jloode A fielde A. 


1626 In lothesome life to lenger out our dayes, 
To see the hugie heapes of these vnhappes, 
That now roll downe vpon the wretched land, 
Where emptie place of princely gouernaunce, 
No certaine stay now left of doubtlesse heire, 

i6so Thus leaue this guidelesse realme an open pray, 
To endlesse stormes and waste of ciuill warre. 

That ye (my lordes) do so agree in one, 
To saue your countrey from the violent reigne 
And wrongfully vsurped tyrannie 

1635 Of him that threatens conquest of you all, 

To saue your realme, and in this realme your selues, 
From forreine thraldome of so proud a prince, 
Much do I prayse, and I besech the Goddes, 
With happy honour to requite it you. 

1640 But (0 my lordes) sith now the heauens wrath 
Hath reft this land the issue of their prince, 
Sith of the body of our late soueraigne lorde 
Eemaines no moe, since the yong hinges be slaine 
And of the title of discended crowne 

1645 Uncertainly the diuerse mindes do thinke 

Euen of the learned sort, and more vncertainly 
Will parciall fancie and affection deeme: 
But most vncertainly will climbing pride 
And hope of reigne withdraw to sundry partes 

I. 1626 sec note to 1. 981. 

1. 1625 linger C dayes ] lyues A Hues C. 1626 mishaps C. 
1627 nowe A lande AC. 1628 Prinoelie A. 1629 certayne A 
doubt^s AC. 1630 guideles C. 1631 ciuyll A. 1632 Lords 
C doo C. 1633 country C raigne C. 1634 wrongfullie A Tir- 
rannie A. 1637 forreyne A forraine C proude C. 1638 mucho 
A doo C beseohe A beseech C Gods C. 16H9 happie AC. 1640 
Lords A sith A. 1641 lande AC. 1642 Sithe A bodie C 
soueraino A. 1643 mo AC yoong kings C. 1644 the descen- 
ded C the A. 1645 Vneerteynly A diuers doo C 1616 sorte 
C vnoertainlye A vnoertainlie C 1647 perciall A partiall C. 
1648 'vncertenlye wyll clymbynge A. 1649 withdrawe A to] 
from AC sondrie A sundrie parts C. 


The doubtfull right and hopefull lust to reigne: 1660 

When once this noble seruice is atchieued 

For Brittaine land the mother of ye all, 

When once ye haue with armed force represt 

The proude attemptes of this Albanian prince, 

That threatens thraldome to your natiue land, 1655 

When ye shall vanquishers returne from field, 

And finde the princely state an open pray 

[H i.i] To gredie lust and to vsurping power, 

Then, then (my lordes) if euer kindly care 

Of auncient honour of your auncesters, leeo 

Of present wealth and noblesse of your stockes, 

Tea of the liues and safetie yet to come 

Of your deare wiues, your children, and your selues, 

Might moue your noble hartes with gentle ruth, 

Then, then, haue pitie on the torne estate; 1665 

Then helpe to salue the welneare hopelesse sore 

Which ye shall do, if ye your selues withholde / 

The slaying knife from your owne mothers throate. 

Her shall you saue, and you, and yours in her, 

If ye shall all with one assent forbeare 167b 

Once to lay hand or take vnto your selues 

The crowne, by colour of pretended right, 

Or by what other meanes so euer it be, 

Till first by common councell of you all 1 j 

In Parliament the regall diademe 1675 

Be setTm certaine place of gouernaunce; I I 

In which your Parliament, and in your choise, 

]. 1678 with B. 

1. 1651 ones A atchiued C. 16"25 Briftaye A lande A. 
1653 ones A. 1654 proud C attempts C. 1655 Lamie A. 1656 
refourne A feelde C. Iti57 praye A 1658 greedy C. 1659 
kindely AC. 16K0 ancient C auneestours C auncesfoures A. 
1662 lyues A. 1663 deere C wyues A. 1664 ruthe AC. 1665 
pytie A pittie C. 1666 well neeve C hopeles AC 1667 Whiche 
A doo C. 1668 sleayng A sleaing C owne A throte A. 1671 
Ones A laye hande A. 1674 Tyll A comen A councell C. 1675 
Diadem C. 1676 certayne A. 1677 whiche A. 


Preferre the right (my lordes) with[out] respect 
Of strength or frendes, or what soeuer cause 

1680 That may set forward any others part. 

For right_ will lasi t _and . wj;ojag_i;annpt_ejidjire. 
Right meane I his or hers^ vpon whose name 
The people rest By~ meane of natiue line, 
Or by the vertue of some former lawe, 

1685 Already made their title to aduaunce. 

Such one (my lordes let be your chosen king, 
Such one so borne within your natiue land, 
Such one preferre, and in no wise admitte 
The heauie yoke of forreine gouernaunce: 

1090 Let forreine titles yelde to publike wealth. 
And with that hart wherewith ye now prepare 
Thus to withstand the proude inuading foe, 
[v°] With that same hart ( my lordes) keepe out also 
Unnaturall thraldome of strangers reigne, 

i69& Ne suffer you against the rules of kinde 

Your mother land to serue a forreine prince. 


Loe here the end of Brutus' royall line, 
And loe the entry to the wofull wracke 
And vtter ruine of this noble realme. 
1700 The royall king, and eke his sonnes are slaine, 

]. 1681. Compare II. 1795—6, at the end. 

1. 1691 and 1093. It is worth notice that in his English 
ardour and patriotism Arostus is made to use the English, "heart" 
instead of the ordinary "courage" (brought in by Chaucer J, and 
talks of the "mother land". 

1. 1702 longes, i. e. belongs. 

1. 1678 Prefer C respeote A. 1679 or ] of AC. 1680 
maye A forwarde A parte AC. 1683 lyne A 1685 Alreadie 
AC. 1686 Suche A Lords C kynge A." 1687 Suche A natyue 
lande A. 1688 Such*' A admit C. 1689 yoake C. 1690 yeelde 
C wealthe A. 1691 wherwith C nowe A. 1692 withstande A 
inuadynge A. 1693 harte A kepe A. 1694 straungers A. 
1695 suffi-e A. 169H lande A. 1697 heere C Lyne A. 1698 
entrie AC. 1699 ruyne A. 


No ruler restes within the regall seate, 

The heire, to whom the scepter longes, unknowen. 

That to eche force of forreine princes power, 

"Whom vauntage of our wretched state may moue 

By sodeine amies to gaine so riche a realme, 1705 

And to the proud and gredie minde at home, 

Whom blinded lust to reigne leades to aspire, 

Loe Brittaine realme is left an open pray, 

A present spoyle by conquest to ensue. 

Who seeth not now how many rising mindes mo 

Do feede their thoughts, with hope to reach a realme? 

And who will not by force attempt to winne 

So great a gaine, that hope perswades to haue? 

A simple colour shall for title serue. 

Who winnes the royall crowne will want no right, ma 

Nor such as shall display by long discent 

A lineall race to proue him lawfull king. 

In the meane while these ciuil armes shall rage, 

And thus a thousand mischiefes shall vnfolde, 

And farre and neare spread the (0 Brittaine land). 172a 

All right and lawe shall cease, and he that had 

Nothing to day, to morrowe shall enioye 

Great heapes of golde, and he that flowed in wealth, 

Loe he shall be bereft of life and all, , 

And happiest he that then possesseth least. 1725/ 

The wiues shall suffer rape, the maides defloured, If- 

]. 1715 Want, i. e. lack. . -' 

1720 land, B. 
1725 least B. 

1. 17(K> kinge A. 1703 eche] the C. 1704 whome C 
our] your AC may moue omitted AC. 1705 sodainp AC. 1706 
greedy C. 1707 whome AC. 170* praye AC 1709 spoile A. 
1710 seeeth C nowe howe A. 1711 feed C realm A. 17l5 
crown AC wil A. 1716 such A displaye AC lon^e A. 1717 
lyneall A lyniall C lawfull ] selfe a AC kynge A. 1718 cyuill AC. 
1719 miseheefes C. 1720 far neere thee C Brittayne A. 1721 
Law C. 17"22 Notliyng A dave AC morowe A morrow C enioy 
C 1723 golde] good AC 1724 bereft] reft AC lyfe A. 1725 
than A r least] leaih C. 1726 wyuea suffre A maydes A maidens C. 


[h iij] And children fatherlesse shall weepe and waile, 
With fire and sworde thy natiue folke shall perishe, 
One kinsman shall bereaue an others life, 

1730 The father shall vnwitting slay the sonne, 

The sonne shall slay the sire and know it not. 
Women and maides the cruell souldiers sword 
Shall perse to death, and sillie children loe, 
That playpng] in the streetes and fieldes are found, 

1735 By violent hand shall close their latter day. 
Whom shall the fierce and bloudy souldier 
Reserue to life? whom shall he spare from death? 
Euen thou (0 wretched mother) halfe aliue, 
Thou shalt beholde thy deare and onely childe 

1740 Slaine with the sworde while he yet suckes thy 
Loe, giltlesse bloud shall thus eche where be shed. 
Thus shall the wasted soile yelde forth no fruite, 
But dearth and famine shall possesse the land. 
I The townes shall be consumed and burnt with fire, 
[1746 The peopled cities shall waxe desolate, 

And thou, Brittaine, whilome in renowme 
Whilome in wealth and fame, shalt thus be torne, 
Dismembred thus, and thus be rent in twaine, 
Thus wasted and defaced, spoyled and destroyed. 

1750 These be the fruites your ciuil warres will bring. 

1. 1734 play B. 
1749 destroyed, B. 

1. 1727 Fatherles AC waylo A. 1728 fier C swoord C 
perissbe A. 1729 other A. 1730 vnwittynse A slaye A 1731 
slea AC knowe A. 1732 souldiours A swoord C. 1733 perse 
A pearee C. 1734 A streates A feeldes C founde A. 
1735 bande A daye A. 1736 Whome AC feroe A bloudie AC. 
Souldier C Souldiour A. 1737 liefe A whome AC. 1738 half 
alyue A. 1739 deere only C. 1740 swoord C. 17-tl giltles 
bloode A. 1742 sovle yeelde foorth. 1743 derth A famyne A 
shal A lande A. 1744 shal A brent A fier C. 1745 Citties 
AC. 1746 (0 Brittaine Land) AC whilom A renowne C. 1748 
twayne A. 1749 spoiled A. 1750 fruits A oynill C wil A 


Hereto it commes when kinges will not consent 

To graue aduiae, but followe wilfull will. 

This is the end, when in fonde princes hartes 

Flattery preuailes, and sage rede hath no place. 

These are the plages, when murder is the meane 1755 

To make new heires vnto the royall crowne. 

Thus wreke the Gods, when that the mothers wrath 

Nought but the bloud of her owne childe may swage. 

These mischiefes spring when rebells will arise, 

To worke reuenge and iudge their princes fact. 1V60 

This, this ensues, when noble men do faile 

[Vo] In loyall trouth, and subiectes will be kinges. 

And this doth growe when loe vnto the prince, 

Whom death or sodeine happe of life bereaues, 

No certaine heire remaines, such certaine heire, 1765 

As not all onely is the rightfull heire 

But to the realme is so made knowen to be, 

And trouth therby vested in subiectes hartes, 

To owe fayth there where right is knowen to rest. 

Alas, in Parliament what hope can be, 1770 

When is of Parliament no hope at all? 

Which, though it be assembled by consent. 

Yet is not likely with consent to end, 

While eche one for him selfe, or for his frend, 

Against his foe, shall trauaile what he may. 1775 

While now the state left open to the man, 

1. 1.768 hartes. B. 

1762, 1768 Trouth, faith, fidelity to country and law. 

1772 Consent, agreement. Compare I. 1751. 

1. 1751 Heerto C comes C. 1752 aduice C folowe A. 
1753 ende^i fonde ] yonge A yong C. 1755 plagues C. 1756 
newe A. 1757 wreak C the ] y° AC. 1758 own C. 1759 mis- 
cheefes springes C springs A Kebelles A wil A. 1760 woork C 
facte A. 1762 trouthe A. 1763 dooth grow C. 1764 Whotne 
AC sodeyne AC hap C liefe A. 1765 certayne A suche A cer- 
taine hi j ire ] certentie A certeintie C. 1766 only C. 1767 
knowen ] vnknownen A vnknowne C. 1768 troth C 1769 faith 
AC. 1770 bee A. 1772 "Whiche thoughe A. 1773 ende A. 
1774 frende A freend C. 1775 maye A. 1776 nowo A. 



That shall with greatest force inuade the same, 
Shall fill ambicious mindes with gaping hope; 
"When will they once with y elding hartes agree? 

780 Or in the while, how shall the realme be vsed? 

i No, no : then Parliament should haue bene holden, 
And certeine heirs appointed to the crowne, 
To stay the title of established right, 
And in the people plant obedienho* Cl... 

1786 While yet the prince did Hue, whose name and 
By lawfull sommons and authoritie 
Might make a Parliament to be of force, 
And might haue set the state in quiet stay. 
But now happie man, whom spedie death 

1790 Depriues of life, ne is enforced to see 
These hugie mischiefes and these miseries, 
These ciuil warres. these murders and these wronges 

I Of iustice. Yet must God in fine restore 
This noble crowne vnto the lawfull heire: 

1795 For right will alwayes Hue, and rise at length, 
But wrong can neuer take deepe roote to last. 


1. 1792 wronges. B. 
1798 justice, yet B. 
1795 See 1. 1681. 

1. 1778 ambitious C Gapynge A. 1779 yeelding C ones 
A. 1780 ho-we A. 1781 ben A beene C. 1782 certaine AC 
appoyncted A. 1783 staie A the ] their AC establisshed righte 
A. 1784 plant the people in AC. 1786 summons C auctorytie 
A. 1788 state ] Realme C staye AC. 1789 nowe A happie A 
•whome A whom ] what speedy C. 1790 lyfe A. 1791 misclieefes 
C. 1792 cyiiill AC wars A wrongs A. 1793 God ] Joue AC 
fyne A. 1795 alwaies C lenglhe A. 1796 wronge A. 


INDEX to NOTES, principally on -words. 

Abused, page 85. 

Adjectival -phrase, transposed 

construction of, 17, 27, 42, 
Adrad 82. 
Assuage 51. 
Avowed 35. 

Behigbt 16. 
Bewray 66. 
Braide 72. 
Bye = abye 58. 

Carefull 10. 
Changeling 60. 
Chere 68. 
Consent 95. 

Dative construction 22. 25. 
Defend 38. 
Derived 12. 

Eigre 58. 
Eke 11. 
Erst 12. 

Fact 63, 77. 
Faile 35. 
Fet 72- 
Fond 10. 
Fore-sette 44. 

Full (suffix) xvi, 10, 33, 54, 
64, 70. 

Great Britain 84. 
Gripe 31. 
Grudging 79. 
Guerdon 80. 

Hest 49. 

History in Geoffry of Mon- 
mouth 19, 43, 83.' 
Holsome 30. 
Howboy 56. 
Hugie xvi, 57. 

Jelous 10. 

Kind xvn, 8, 9. 

Mindes 88. 
Mindful 33. 
Myrrour 47. 

Negatives 65. 

Oppresse 42. 
Out! 69. 

Pined 57. 
Possessive case 85. 
Post 84. 
Practice 35, 66. 
Pretended 48. 
Prevents 20. 

Bake (a fire) 66. 
Randon 39. 
Rapt 72. 
Reave 30, 47. 
Reck 25. 
Recorde 54. 
Reda 44. 
Repining 36. 
Roume = room 22. 

Selfe 26. 

Silly 69. 

Sithe 13. 

Skilless 44. 

Stay, Stayedness 17. 24, 61. 

Succeed 10, 23. 

Success 11, 86. 

Tender 36. 
To-bescratcbed 5. 
Trade 14. 

Ure 17, 67. 

Vnskilfull 24. 
Wade 79. 
Waile 53. 
Want 93. 
Wrap 68, 72. 
Wrie 13. 

Yerlag yon GEBK. HENNINGEK in Heilbronn. 




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[Januar 188j|| 

Cornell University Library 
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Gorboduc; or, Ferrex and Porrex; a traged 

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